Update: Sex offenders moving out of Union Ave. Motel?

Update: Sex offenders moving out of Union Ave. Motel?
A follow-up now to an investigation Eyewitness News was first to bring you about several sex offenders living at two local motels on Union Avenue. A tipster who alerted us to the problem says some sex offenders have been taken out of the hotels, but wants more action to be taken. Eyewitness News spoke with the state parole board and County Supervisors to see what happens next.

A lot has happened since we began our investigation in February 2008; Supervisors are working on a county ordinance extending Jessica's Law, which limits where sex offenders can live. Also, a local business owner nearby the motels says he filed a complaint with the Grand Jury and contacted the Governor's Office. Now the California Department of Corrections is defending themselves against allegations they were behind the placement of sex offenders.

Earlier this year we found out that more than a dozen paroled sex offenders were living here in the "El Don" motel at 800 South Union Avenue. We found more were living about a block away at the Bakersfield Lodge. Several concerns were raised about the issue. Jim Starkey, owns a home for the developmentally disabled right next door to the El Don. Starkey has made several complaints to the parole department and local government wondering why parole officers would "stack" several sex offenders in one location so close to children and his patients. The California Department of Corrections wrote him a letter saying they've never contracted the hotel to house sex offenders.

Furthermore, they said the hotel is "Open to all customers." We spoke with the CDCR who told us they don't provide parolee's with housing, but at times will help them find a place. According to our previous interviews with parole, that seems to be the case with the El Don Motel. We also asked if the hotel has any signs warning potential guests that sex offenders are staying there. The CDCR tells Eyewitness News there are no signs because there's nothing in Jessica's or Megan's Law requiring that kind of notification.

Still, Starkey says several of the sex offenders have moved out of the area, which is a start. Starkey says the big winner in the reduction of sex offenders in the area is the 800 kids who don't have to me fearful of being abused.

Eyewitness News also talked to Supervisor Michael Rubio about the progress of a county sex offender law. Rubio says they are taking all these issues into account, and are asking county lawyers to meet with Parole, the Sheriffs Department and other leaders to come up with a solution. We also spoke with the CDCR who tells us the number of sex offenders living in the 2 hotels has dropped from 30 to 25.