WHITE LAKE, NY — Town of Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm listened to several women on September 25 raise concerns about a level-three sex offender who had been working in a welfare-to-work program …
WHITE LAKE, NY — Town of Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm listened to several women on September 25 raise concerns about a level-three sex offender who had been working in a welfare-to-work program in the town. One of the women, who collectively called themselves Bethel Moms, said she did not think it was appropriate to have a sex offender working in Smallwood where young children live.
The sex offender had been working on a crew that cleaned town roads. According to the New York State Sex Offender Registry, he sexually abused a boy and girl, both nine, in 1999. He was sentenced to 13 years in state prison.
Sturm said he was supervised by a town employee. Sturm said he had not been aware of the situation until the day before the meeting. He also said that the person in question had been removed from the work crew.
He said the people in the program were not town employees and “they are fully certified and able to work, researched and cleared by the county.” The program is run by Sullivan County Workforce Development, and Bethel has been part of the program for five years.
“It has been a very successful program, we’ve had no issues over the last five years,” he said. “We’ve also helped transition some of the people that have been working in this program into some very decent jobs over the years.
“There’s only a few weeks left of the program, we’re wrapping it up for the season, and we’re going to meet with the county in the off-season and evaluate the entire program,” he added.