Subpeonas For Sex Offender Info Goes To Court

By Jessica Light

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 24, 2007 at 6:56 PM EST

City Councilman Anthony Massar and his attorney, Douglas Drazen, are searching for answers.

Massar discovered the Dixie Hotel in Binghamton has an agreement with New York State to house sex offenders.

So, he decided to investigate some local non-profit agencies to see if they, too, house sex offenders under agreements with the state.

"Are we going to be able to locally stop the state from having these agreements? No. We are going to need to put pressure on our elected officials in Albany," says Massar.

But, 3 non-profit agencies refuse to hand over their records after Massar issued them subpoenas.

One agency, Opportunities for Broome, says Massar has no legal right to issue subpoenas.

"Why would these agencies not wish to comply with a request for information on their own? We are dealing with a matter of public safety," says Massar.

Massar argues he does have a legal right to issue subpoenas.

Legal papers say the records he wants are important to uncover conflicting practices, like those of The Family and Children's Society, also a target of Massar's.

"We think an inquiry should be made whether the Family and Supreme Courts are aware that that facility is being used both to treat sex offenders and to have families and children visiting each other," says Drazen.

The Family and Children's Society Executive Director says it keeps sex offenders, and families and children, separate.

He also says the subpoenas are "improper".

Catholic Charities was also issued a subpoena, and has no comment.

The issue will be decided in court.

The legal fight over the subpoenas is scheduled to be argued in state supreme court this Thursday.

The city of Binghamton's Corporation Counsel, the attorney for the city, is trying to stop it.

He also says Massar does not have the authority to start legal proceedings, or issue subpoenas, as a city councilman without city council's approval.

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