Fond du Lac County fights off sex offender placement

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ELDORADO, Wis. (WBAY) - Fond du La County stands its ground and prevents an out-of-county sex offender from moving into a Town of Eldorado home.

Jeffrey Butler state photo

Action 2 News has been following similar battles for years, but they recently ramped up when a Marinette County judge ordered 54-year-old Jeffrey Butler, a convicted sex offender from Marinette County, be released from state custody and housed in Fond du Lac County.

As we reported earlier this week, Fond du Lac County authorities questioned the legality of the order since a bill signed just last month by Governor Scott Walker says violent sex offenders, like Butler, upon their release are to be housed in the county where they were convicted for their crimes.

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink has been fighting to keep Jeffrey Butler from moving into a Town of Eldorado home. And it came to a head on Thursday when Fink found out Butler was expected to arrive at the house early Friday morning.

According to Fink, "When Probation and Parole told me that they were going to place him here at 6 a.m. this morning, corp counsel and I went and petitioned the Fond du Lac County Circuit Judge and was granted a temporary restraining order."

The sheriff then had deputies, armed with that restraining order, posted at the end of the driveway to the home on Nitschke Road to ensure Butler would be turned away if he arrived.

In the meantime, Marinette County Judge James Morrison, who originally ordered Butler's release and was petitioned by Fond du Lac County authorities to reconsider the placement, signed a stay to that order.

"We're going to let this sort out in court, where it should be," says Fink, after hearing about the stay.

Judge Morrison held a scheduling conference Friday afternoon with all the parties, including Fond du Lac County officials and Mr. Butler's attorney, on how to proceed. And while Sheriff Fink has avoided Butler's placement in his county for now, he questions how the system is handling these situations.

The sheriff adds, "This isn't government money spent in a good way at all. It's a waste. This system, I've told you before and I'll say it 'til the day I die, 'til the legislators and governor clean it up, it's systemically flawed."

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