Brevard County Commissioners approved a motion during public hearing to allow individuals on the sex offender registry on the Commission meetings and at the Viera county government center premises.
The amendments were first introduced during the March 22 meeting by County Attorney Abigail Jorandby who suggested changing the code to allow registered offenders entry into the facilities to conduct government business.
Prior to that, offenders were banned from the premises because of a 2006 rule prohibiting them from being within 1,000 feet of ny public building where children are present. Individuals on the list could not enter the Brevard County Government Center because Brevard Public School district and Viera High School are nearby.
In the fall of 2020, commissioners voted to expand the ordinance by redefining a park as “all publicly owned or operated property and private property specifically designated as being used for recreational purposes and where children regularly congregate.”
It also instituted a process in which businesses could register their establishments as a park if children visit the location regularly.
Families, friends, and advocates for those on the registry attended the meeting to protest the new rules, but those on the registry could not attend because of the 1,000-foot buffer zone created because of the 2006 ordinance.
All voted for the 2020 ordinance except for former commissioner Bryan Lober. “It is a little troubling that we can’t have folks here who this going to directly impact,” he said back in 2020.
That precipitated a lawsuit filed by attorney Ray Taseff with the Florida Justice Institute.
Moving forward, those on the registry may be allowed within the county building for specific purposes. This includes conducting official government business, or for health, court, educational or religious-related reasons.