- Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney said Monday the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is no longer seeking to place a convicted sex offender from Milwaukee in the town of Eldorado.

Toney said in a release that state officials noted in their letter that a pre-emptive ordinance passed last week in Eldorado has “led to this placement no longer being viable” and that the agency has requested 90 days to find other housing for Clint Rhymes.

The ordinance, passed in a special meeting Dec. 7, says Eldorado would accept paroled sex offenders from Fond du Lac County only. It was the centerpiece of the rural community’s pushback against a plan that would send Rhymes to Eldorado in part because officials said a patchwork of local ordinances prevented him from being placed in Milwaukee County.

Rhymes was convicted in 1988 of sex assault and attempted murder. The supervised release coordinator for the state public defender’s office, Bob Peterson, has said that Rhymes has been in a treatment facility since 2005 and his release hasn’t been opposed by the state.

“Mr. Rhymes remains appropriate for supervised release to the community,” Peterson said Monday night. “He was ordered released one year ago, and we will continue to attempt to find an appropriate local placement.”

The case gained media attention when Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink called an informational meeting to make the community aware of the release plan and passed out addressed envelopes so residents could let a judge know they were upset.

Health Services spokeswoman Julie Lund confirmed the withdrawal Monday evening. The case had been due in court Wednesday.

Toney, in his release, called for the state Legislature to address the matter. A policy adviser for state Sen. Richard Gudex has said that the Fond du Lac Republican plans to bring legislation that will provide clarity and prevent areas of the state from exporting sex offenders based on local rules.


Follow Greg Moore at https://twitter.com/writingmoore . His work can be found at https://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/greg-moore .

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