A plan to relocate a sex offender in Fond du Lac County is drawing complaints from the top cop and prosecutor in the area.
A Milwaukee County judge is set to decide on December 16 whether to relocate 51-year-old Clint Rhymes to the Town of Eldorado. Rhymes was convicted in 1988 for sexual assault and attempted homicide in Milwaukee County. Normally, he would be released to the community he resided in before he went to prison, but an objection from a Milwaukee alderman prompted a judge to order the state Department of Health Services to widen its search.
Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink said that’s not making sense to him. “I guess what probably lit my candle more than anything was a Milwaukee city alderman goes and testifies before a judge he doesn’t want him in his backyard, but has no problem sending him up to Eldorado,” he said.
Department of Health Services spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said, while state law does require the agency to place patients in their county of residence, they do have to consider factors such as proximity to vulnerable populations, rental availability, and residency ordinances. “In this case, DHS was unable to find an appropriate location in Milwaukee County, therefore the judge ordered DHS to expand its search statewide,” Miller said.
Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said their county has become a “dumping ground” for Milwaukee because of ordinances in the city that restrict the placement of sex offenders. He said “the concern is, we’re going to see more of these individuals from Milwaukee County or other communities.”
Fink said he hopes the controversy will catch the attention of state lawmakers, and generate a discussion on the placement of sex offenders.
Contributed by Bob Nelson, KFIZ