SAN BERNARDINO - A confidential memo that somehow found its way to each City Council member's place on the dais before the start of Monday's council meeting reported that a registered sex offender has performed work at the church that's also home to three children's facilities, including the city's first Operation Phoenix recreational center.
As of Monday's deadline, Councilwoman Wendy McCammack's had proposed to suspend operations at the Operation Phoenix center.
The council began discussion of the memo when City Councilman Chas Kelley called attention to the document around the meeting's start.
The council then voted unanimously to put the issue on the agenda as a late-breaking item and McCammack read the full text of the memo at the dais.
The council then conducted its meeting as scheduled and did not resume discussing the new situation until after 8:30 p.m.
The memo, written by Police Chief Keith Kilmer, reports that the Police Department learned from the Mayor's Office on Aug. 26 that a registered sex offender was working at First Church of the Nazarene, which hosts the central Operation Phoenix center, SOAR Charter Academy and Valley Christian Preschool.
Kilmer's memo reports that a police investigation determined that the church's pastor knew the worker was a sex offender. The sex offender, a member of the church, was reportedly not actually employed by the church but instead worked for a contractor that had jobs at the location.
The sex offender in question reportedly "worked largely" at the church on weekends. The chief's memo states that arrangements were made so that the sex offender worked away from and did not have access to children's facilities.
The sex offender also picked up his girlfriend's daughter from SOAR, according to the memo.
"At this point it appears that because (the sex offender) was acting as a parent when he visited the school to pick up his girlfriend's daughter, and because the work he conducted at the facility was done at the request of the church, (the sex offender) is compliant with state and local law," Kilmer's memo concludes.
That report did not satisfy City Attorney James F. Penman nor McCammack.
"We have a man who should not be anywhere near our Operation Phoenix kids," McCammack said.
Penman said that he would send investigators to his office to notify parents that a registered sex offender had worked at the location. ..Source.. by Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer