Fight to move parole office could wind up in court

Posted at: 11/27/2013 6:47 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The fight over a new location for the Department of Corrections Office is heating up.

The neighborhood the state is interested in isn’t backing down.

And the battle could end up in court.

The state is looking for a new building where those on probation and parole can go check-in on a regular basis.

And it’s been a bad couple of weeks for the DOC.

One of their current probation and parole offices was set on fire.

Another, next to a school, had an attempted bombing.

That has led parents to start a petition demanding the office be moved.

The state did have plans to move both of those offices to the Plaza Maya building on First Street.

The even had a “purchase agreement” for $1.8 million.

But the state also ran into big opposition there.

The purchase agreement expired, but the state confirms they are trying to negotiate a new deal.

Nearby YDI and youth group organizations say it’s not safe for convicts to hang out nearby.

And their attorney says he is prepared to file a temporary restraining order or a permanent injunction if the state tries to buy the Plaza Maya building.

“Obviously at the concern at the end of the day, that the doc should be looking at is the safety of the public,” said attorney Arlyn Crow. “And if there's a better place where there are no children, where there aren't other high risk person that location should be looked at first prior to let's say the Plaza Maya building."

The state says they’ve looked at 20 places in the past two years.

But it’s difficult to find a new home because they need a big enough building that is near public transportation.

The state says there’s no timeline for when they expect to finalize a deal on a new building.