February 7, 2016

Sex offender program to be audited

The Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee gave the green light this morning to audit of the state’s supervised release program for sex offenders. The state currently pays for monitoring and housing of these offenders, often in individual homes.

Among those who testified was Richard Kunz, a Manitowoc resident who lives near a home that is housing such an offender. He believes the $1600 a month rent is excessive for the 480-square foot home.

“This is the size of a two car garage and would have a hard time getting $300 a month rent in the normal market,” he said while questioning the amenities of the homes. “I see two of them (houses) in Green Bay that look like they have central air…They’re living better than I am.”

State officials have said the rents can be more expensive as it’s difficult to find landlords will accept these offenders.

The Manitowoc house falls in the district of state Senator Joe Leibham. He told the panel it’s important to examine this program, as the governor’s budget is proposing an increase in its funding.

The committee of lawmakers approved the audit and the Legislative Audit Bureau will move ahead with the review. The LAB’s Joe Chrisman says the audit will be relatively small and will take a couple of months.

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