The following is a partial transcript taken from the Tuesday night meeting of the Lake Forest City Council. During that meeting, the council voted to repeal a ban from its city parks on sex offenders.
Lake Forest Mayor Kathryn McCullough: We took the leap on the (marijuana) dispensaries, and we took the whole whack.
Are you willing to indemnify us from any damages… that might come our way? Right now we have a federal case pending in federal court.
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas: I think it would be a terrible shame… to let sex offenders win by the filing of a lawsuit.
McCullough: Maybe you misunderstood something I said.
Rackauckas: I understood it very well.
McCullough: My city manager already stated in his opening statements that we already have three or four letters of protection.
Are you willing tonight to be able to say publicly, on record, that you will indemnify us?
Rackauckas: You know very well that the district attorney doesn’t indemnify cities to enforce the law. (He accused her of grandstanding).
McCullough: (My question is) strictly on the face of the lawsuit and they’re strictly saying this is a violation just to have this law.
Rackauckas: If you lose in federal court, then go ahead and turn tail. But I don’t think it’s right … because you’ve been listening to some threats from some sex offenders.
McCullough: I think you misjudged where you were. You’re in the city of Lake Forest. And with all due respect—
Rackauckas: I do not misjudge where I am. I know a disingenuous question when I hear it. And I know where I am.
McCullough: If you’re not able to indemnify, is the County of Orange?
Rackauckas: You know the answer of that question, so you can just state it as a fact. You know very well what the answer is.
McCullough: What am I to say and ask my citizens to give up in order to stay with this ordinance?
Rackauckas: That this is an ordinance that we put up in good faith, that we have kids, that we have a buffer zone for our kids.
McCullough: I disagree with you. We have supported you on a couple of ordinances. And at this time I’m not willing to put our city’s future and dollars in an ordinance I cannot assure my citizens that their money will be returned to them. Our citizens already know, our citizens know this is a safe city. (they) know when they came to us about the dispensaries, we took the lead, and we asked your office. And you didn’t step up, and the other cities didn’t stand up either.
Who’s going to indemnify my city?
Rackauckas: If one kid gets groomed in a park and molested somewhere else, all the arguments here pale in comparison.