At a hearing on May 17, Judges Brian Pfitzinger and Joseph Sciascia approved the placement of two Chapter 980 sex offenders in the Town of Lomira. Jonathan Miller and Robert Larson will be placed in a home at N462 Highway 67 on or before July 1. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt, who has continually voiced his disapproval with this decision, was one of the few people allowed to speak at the hearing and said it unfortunately went as expected.
“The hearing went as I anticipated it would,” he said. “There were a number of concerns that I shared with the courts and I do not endorse this location.” Schmidt highlighted four main concerns about the approved placement. The first being the proximity to Hwy 41, Midwest Shooters Supply and Camelot Golf Course.
Although there is a 15- year-old child who lives within 1,500 feet of the residence, because it is not an adjacent property it is allowable by law. At this same location, Schmidt informed the courts that there is a one-year-old who receives day care two to three times per week. There also is a family business on Butternut Road within the 1,500 feet that hosts frequent 4H clubs and other children who go to the business for educational purposes.
Finally, Schmidt alerted the courts that Lomira and Campbellsport High Schools use Camelot Golf Course for high school golf classes and meets. Schmidt said with so much sensitivity surrounding these types of decisions that he would like to see some adjustment made to the process. “I believe that the statute, of course, can be looked at for additional changes. It is my position as Sheriff that the citizens should have an advocate on their behalf in these hearings,” he said.
“Chapter 980 individuals are represented by their attorney, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) has the Attorney General’s Office advocating on their behalf, but there is no attorney acting on the best interest of the public in these cases and advocating on their behalf to the judge. This is my biggest problem with this process.” As far as how long these two offenders will be living in Lomira, Schmidt said it is unclear at this time but he encourages people to contact the WDHS to find out as it was their decision for the placement and not the county’s.
With the July 1 deadline for placement approaching, Schmidt said he is organizing a meeting time to provide more information to residents and that the date and time will be announced in the upcoming weeks. “That meeting will be prior to their placement and will give information as to what will happen next as well as the restrictions on these offenders,” he said. “This will be a time for individuals to ask questions of the WDHS on their plans for this placement and what law enforcement will be doing in an effort to keep residents safe. We will be working with the Lomira Police Department to develop plans for the protection of citizens.”