The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council voted unanimously to begin the process of banishing all non Hoopa tribal member sex offenders from Hoopa.
The Tribe’s Title 5, which allows exclusion of both tribal and non-tribal members from the reservation, has gained attention in recent months because two tribal members are presently undergoing the exclusion process via the Tribe’s court system.
It’s also raising concerns for local law enforcement.
“The problem is, all we can do is move them to the other side of the reservation boundary,” Lieutenant Ed Guyer with the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department said. “The District Attoney’s office won’t prosecute violations of tribal law.”
Councilmembers Hayley Hutt and Ryan Jackson said that’s something that needs to be worked on.
The Tribe’s lead attorney, Mary Jane Risling, said there was discussion about placing potential penalties for violating and exclusion order on the upcoming special election ballot. Hypothetical penalties were mention, but have yet to be fine-tuned and presented for placement on the ballot.
“We don’t have a coordinated approach to law enforcement,” Risling said when commenting on the District Attorney’s inability to prosecute tribal law and Humboldt County’s efforts to conduct sex offender sweeps.
Guyer said it’s hard to know who all of the sex offenders are.
There are several on the Megan’s Law list, a public state registry, accessible online, that lists sex offenders by zip code, county, name and map. But, not all sex offenders are in compliance with their registry, nor are all offenders required to register on the state-run list.
Another motion was passed that will require all sex offenders to register with Hoopa Valley Tribal Police. The motion is redundant of an existing tribal law, Title 47, which requires the Tribal Police Department to maintain a registry of their own separate from the Megan’s Law List.
“Currently, everybody on the Megan’s Law list is in violation of tribal law because nobody is registered with us,” Guyer said.
Added to the motion is a clause that requires Tribal Police do outreach to inform the public that they are beginning the registry process and that it is required by tribal law.
Councilmember, Hayley Hutt made both of the motions and said, “We have to make a stand on this at some point.”
The motion to begin exclusion proceedings of non Hoopa tribal members could affect up to six registered sex offenders on the Megan’s Law List living in Hoopa.
Hutt said there are more registered sex offenders in Hoopa than there are in the entire city of Arcata. And, Willow Creek has only four listed offenders.
A recent search of Megan’s Law shows that zip code 95546 (Hoopa) has 17 registered offenders. At least three of whom are residents of the Weitchpec and Pecwan areas, which share the same zip code. Six of whom are not Hoopa tribal members. The remaining eight registered offenders are Hoopa tribal members.http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2013/05/hoopa-tribe-starts-banishment-process-of-non-tribal-member-sex-offenders/