Orange County Supervisor Candidate First Denies, Then Admits He Hid Law Firm Solicitations to Sex Offenders So He Could Run for Office
FULLERTON, CA â€“ Leaders of Crime Victims United of California today blasted Shawn Nelson for his cover-up of web solicitations advising convicted sex offenders. Nelson admitted his law firmâ€™s ads about avoiding Meganâ€™s Law registration requirements were just a way to boost his siteâ€™s ranking on Google.
â€œThe last thing Orange County needs is someone like Shawn Nelson whose law firm advertises to convicted sex offenders and then hides it from the public,â€ said Harriet Salarno, chair of Crime Victims United of California. â€œOur leaders should stand up for victims, not hide what they put on their criminal defense website so they can run for County Supervisor.â€Â
While running for County Supervisor, Shawn Nelson called accusations of a cover-up â€œbaseless.â€ Then he finally â€œadmits removing that language from his web siteâ€ to the Orange County Register just days before the election. Nelson said it â€œwas a just a way to get higher rankings on Google.â€Â
â€œWhy would Shawn Nelson place his criminal defense websiteâ€™s popularity above the safety of families?â€ asked Salerno, who noted her organization rarely gets involved in races at local level, but the seriousness of Nelsonâ€™s cover-up spurred them to act so the public has the information they need before Election Day.
â€œThe absolute last thing we need, at any level of government, is a politician who places his websiteâ€™s popularity above familiesâ€™ safety,â€ added Nina Salarno-Ashford, executive board member of Crime Victims United.
According to the Orange County Register, Shawn Nelson owns a law practice whose web site solicited business from sex offenders. â€œNelson’s firm has a criminal defense department, and he admits removing that language from his web site.â€ (Orange County Register, May 22, 2010)
Nelsonâ€™s hidden â€œFailure to Registerâ€ advertisement solicited new clients for his law firm by stating: â€œIf you have been previously convicted of a sex crime, you should first be aware that it may be possible to appeal that conviction. Defendants should exercise their right to appeal and ensure that they must register as a sexual offender in their community.â€
Nelsonâ€™s law firm also expressed sympathy for these criminals, stating â€œThe social stigma associated with being a registered sex offender often makes it difficult to not only obtain employment, but may also affect your ability to form personal relationships and even find a place to live.â€ www.rizioandnelson.com/criminal_defense_lawyer/failure_register.html).Â
â€œWe worked hard to make sure parents had a way to know just who is living in their communities,â€ continued Salarno-Ashford, who helped push to make the Meganâ€™s Law database available online. â€œFor Shawn Nelsonâ€™s law firm to give convicted sex offenders advice on how to delay registering, and then hide it as he runs for office, shows he has the wrong priorities.â€
ABOUT CRIME VICTIMS UNITED
Crime Victims United of California works to raise elected leadersâ€™ awareness of the toll crime takes on our society and on the victims it creates. Their mission is to make sure law-abiding Californians have the rights, protections and respect they deserve.
Crime Victims Unitedâ€™s goals include maintaining and strengthening â€œMeganâ€™s Lawâ€ to ensure parents have the ability to protect their children from sexual predators who live in their neighborhoods. And preventing sex offenders from working/living close to schools and parks as provided under â€œJessicaâ€™s Law.â€
Crime Victim United also issued an endorsement of Harry Sidhu for 4th District Supervisor.