Montville ends legal fight against sex-offender treatment site

Montville - The fight is over.

The Town Council on Monday night voted 5-1 to end a lawsuit against the state that was aimed at halting construction of a residential sex-offender treatment facility planned for the grounds of the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center.

The council approved a draft of an agreement with the state Department of Correction that details safety guidelines for the sex-offender facility. The two parties have spent several weeks working on the agreement, which will now go to the attorney general's office for final approval.

Monday's vote essentially ended a dispute that has lasted the better part of two years and has cost the town approximately $91,000 in legal fees, Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz said.

Town councilors did not comment on the draft per the advice of Michael P. Carey, the attorney representing the town. Jaskiewicz said a meeting could be held next week to make the details of the agreement public.

Town Councilor Ellen Hillman was the lone opposing vote.

The town has made several efforts to halt construction of the facility. It recently pursued an appeal after a judge ruled against the town in an initial lawsuit. Legislators also unsuccessfully proposed legislation that would have forced the state to change the process it used in selecting Montville as the site for the facility.

The 24-bed sex-offender facility will be operated by Middletown-based The Connection Inc. In a meeting earlier this year with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff Tim Bannon and DOC Commissioner Leo C. Arnone, Jaskiewicz and town councilors were assured of the safety measures the state intends to adhere to.

For instance, Arnone said the facility would not house "the worst" offenders, but rather offenders on probation "with a chance to correct their future behavior." Offenders would enter a program for three to six months.

Arnone also said at the time that offenders would not be allowed to enter the Montville community except in the case of a medical emergency. They would be under constant supervision by a minimum of three staff members, tested for drugs and alcohol and returned to their communities of origin once they completed the program.

Councilor Gary Murphy abstained from Monday's vote citing his employment with the DOC.


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