A second convicted sex offender who found a home in a Redwood Shores hotel turned senior housing complex will be relocated after staff and community members became aware of his convictions months after moving into the site.
“All of the proper protocols were followed by the organization and they did everything under the law that they can do in regard to this situation,” County Manager Mike Callagy said about the nonprofit Mid-Pen Housing which operates the senior housing facility, Shores Landing.
Freddie Lee Jordan, 64, was convicted on sodomy charges in 1983, according to the California Megan’s Law website and has not been convicted of any further crimes since his release in 1991.
Jordan is the second Shores Landing resident discovered to have a past of sexual crime. In early August Mid-Pen staff, discovered 70-year-old Sanchez Heriberto Martinez had been imprisoned for the continual sexual abuse of a child.
Given that the offense committed by both men occurred more than seven years ago, the typical window used for background searches, the convictions had not been discovered before the tenants moved into the site located directly next door to a child care center.
County officials were alerted to Jordan’s placement after he voluntarily reported his criminal history to facility staff. Members of the Redwood Shores Community Association have also been informed, Callagy said.
An association board member who spoke on the assurance of anonymity shared frustrations with the nonprofit, especially after being informed Jordan had been one of the first tenants to move into the facility in March but had not registered within 30 days as required by law.
“Our relationship right now is very stressed but RSCA is committed to our community and this is part of our community and we have to do everything and anything to keep it a good place to live and work out here,” the member said.
Jordan is expected to be voluntarily relocated by Tuesday, Sept. 21, the board member was told. Mid-Pen Housing did not respond to requests for comment.
Now, the board member said they’re concerned other residents may also have a past of sexual crimes, the main concern of the community.
Redwood Shores residents had voiced their concerns that potentially violent individuals would be moved onto the site, formerly the TownePlace Suites, when the county purchased it late last year using state funding. The hotel was one of three sites purchased through the Project Homekey efforts, two located in Redwood City and one in Pacifica.
Increasing concerns is the site’s proximity to a child care center which has experienced a decline in attendance after parents were informed of the first offender’s placement at Shores Landing, the board member said.
“It’s not fair for them,” they said. “It’s not right.”
When approving the purchase of the hotels, supervisors worked to calm concerns by asserting proper background checks would be conducted to prevent serious felons from living in sensitive areas.
Callagy shared strong support in Mid-Pen’s vetting of potential tenants and its operation of the site. He said staff is conducting research into whether state law may permit the nonprofit to ask certain questions that could reveal criminal history.
The board member said the nonprofit informed them a different method for screenings will be used moving forward to allow for federal law to take precedence over state law, permitting the agency to conduct more in-depth checks on sexual crimes.
Callagy also argued for balance on the issue. As a parent, he empathizes with concerns for the children while also acknowledging that everyone is deserving of housing regardless of their past criminal behavior.
“We don’t want them living under a bridge or an encampment or somewhere they can’t get the resources to help themselves,” Callagy said. “These aren’t just homeless [residents], these are homeless seniors who are now in a safe environment where they’re thriving.”
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