Current Issues

When it comes to “sex offenders,” how far will “Not in my backyard” behavior go?

By Sandy . . . An interesting screen shot was captured online. Titled “Barefoot Lake Issues” and written by someone who signed his name as the town manager of Firestone, CO, it sounds as though it could be a coded message in a conspiracy plot. He speaks of continuing not to draw attention to “what the town is doing now” and how important it was “not to tip Mobarez off.”

He talks about an increased police presence and includes a cryptic reference to deploying “some technology . . . on the neighborhood.” He then, before signing off, says that as a husband and father, he wouldn’t want “this” in his neighborhood.

What is “this”? And who is “Mobarez?”

A quick online search answered both questions—and more.

Mobarez Solutions in Colorado is a company that offers a vital service; working with Colorado’s parole and probation departments, Mobarez provides housing for men with sexual crime convictions who are in need of sober-living residential services. This includes housing and counseling for substance dependency as well as more standard counseling.

The company has a good record. Its homes are in compliance with federal and state requirements. Probation rules for persons required to register are many and complex; one of the duties of recovery residences is to support and help clients navigate the maze and remain compliant.

In brief, Mr. Mobarez opened a home in Firestone, Colorado, in the Barefoot Lake area, to be used as a sober-living  recovery residence for men . The facility was inspected and certified for that purpose by the state, and it is listed with the Colorado Association of Recovery Residences (CARR), an organization that certifies Colorado’s recovery residences as provided for by the state’s Office of Behavioral Health. The executive director of CARR has written a letter to the town of Firestone commending Mobarez Solutions, and the letter concludes with:

CARR records indicate that Mobarez Solutions has either met or exceeded recovery residence certification requirements upon every application it has submitted to the State. Moreover, CARR has yet to receive a grievance filed against Mobarez Solutions from any resident, affiliated organization, or community in which any of their residences are located.

Locations for recovery residences must be chosen carefully. Persons on probation or parole after incarceration for any of a multitude of sexual offenses have restrictions on where they may live, with any area close to schools and other “child-use” areas being off-limit. Finding suitable locations is difficult. The home chosen in Firestone is ideal, large enough to accommodate several residents at a time as well as staff and in an area far enough away from schools and other off-limit locations.

In spite of the company’s excellent record, in spite of the need for the services provided, the town of Firestone, as verified by several sources, has taken actions to sabotage and remove the recovery residence and its residents from the area.

The immediate neighborhood has been hostile, vocal, and threatening. Reports were made that the office responsible for registering those who are required to be on Colorado’s sex offender registry refused to register the men living in the Mobarez Solutions residence, causing them to be out of compliance, which is a crime.

And the cryptic note warning of the necessity of not alerting Mobarez to what the town was doing?

That referred to an item that would, as secretly as possible, be added to the agenda for the upcoming town hall meeting April 24. The town council’s regulations require that nothing be added to a meeting agenda less than 24 hours prior to the meeting. The item that was added—added at the absolute deadline, secretly and quietly, in hopes that Mr. Mobarez would not learn of it in advance—is an ordinance making it illegal for two registrants who are not related to live in the same home. It was given the designation of “emergency” so that it would take place immediately.

It passed as quickly as all council members could say yes, and it passed to an outbreak of applause and verbal approval from many in the large group of citizens who packed the room. This was the last act of an outgoing mayor and board.

After a tribute to the outgoing board, the new board was sworn and the reason for the large group became known: public comments.

The purpose was an appeal to the new board not to undo what had just been done, and they pulled out all the stops.

Someone “explained” that the actual recidivism rate of registrants was very high; he gave a skewed and incorrect interpretation of the DOJ report and used the term “pedophile” as a synonym for “offender.” A mom spoke of her fears for her children.  One man issued veiled threats, using the phrase, “a powder keg with the fuse lit waiting to go off,” and comparing the home and the situation to Columbine, Waco, and Ferguson, saying, “Something is going to happen.” Almost in tears, another man spoke of how his daughter had her safety stolen in a matter of hours.

Mr. Mobarez was called a shyster and a convict and spoken of in extremely disparaging terms. Mobarez Solutions was constantly referred to an illegal operation, born of “a convict’s greed.”

There is no evidence to substantiate these characterizations.

The residents of Barefoot Lake in Firestone, Colorado, are missing the opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity to practice for themselves and to teach to their children a civics and societal lesson with vital components.

Get all of the facts from reliable sources and data before forming opinions and taking action. Recognize that sometimes what benefits society is more important than individual comfort. Support opportunities for second chances for others as this helps assure they will be there when we ourselves need them.

Cliches become cliches because they have stood the test of time. The Golden Rule is still the best measure we can use in our relationships with others.

Postscript: Since publication, we have been notified that one of the residents–one of the former residents–of the home has been forced into homelessness because, before the ordinance was voted in, he was refused registration at the registration office; police remain on the street; and Mr. Mobarez has received several death threats.

Sandy Rozek

Written by 

Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

16 Thoughts to “When it comes to “sex offenders,” how far will “Not in my backyard” behavior go?”

  1. AvatarTim Williams

    Sandy, good morning. I am impressed with how you summarized this matter. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  2. AvatarDennis

    What can we in other states do to help Mr. Mobarez and those he housed?

  3. AvatarBen

    Sounds like a lawsuit for defamation is in order. Any record of what was said in the meeting would be evidence of the negative pandering, public insult, and injury. When they don’t want to or cannot pay the high cost of damages, then they can agree to reverse the order instead.

    1. AvatarThe Criminalized Man

      Very true Ben. We need to go on offense when abuses like this happen.

  4. AvatarJohn Pilcher

    SMH. The registry will never die however IF it were kept private for law enforcement use/access only, those of us who want a 2nd chance – vast majority IMO – would get one. It is reasonable for the law to have me registered, I have to accept that. It is not reasonable for employers, landlords, banks, and my children, teachers, and neighbors to have access to my criminal history. Without the publicity and spectacle of our crime there would be nothing for our neighbors to be so afraid of.

  5. AvatarScott

    The entire Sex Offender Registry is totally built on Emotion. Shame on our Leaders and Law Makers for allowing this. Either they are Ignorant or Blatantly afraid to admit that these Laws serve no real purpose or they simply do not know what the facts are! So, they continue to allow the “Mob Rules” to Govern our Citizens…This is NOT Justice! Heaven forbid they ever admit that they are wrong, they will lose income, votes and their standing in their communities, at the cost and destruction of a fast growing 1 million people who have paid their debts and have served their sentences….Absurd, Barbaric and just plain wrong!

  6. AvatarCherokeeJack

    Maybe a contact to a nation news agency to expose what that city council is doing, which is most likely unconstitutional. Some small towns tend to make up rules and laws as they see fit and do not take kindly of outsiders.

    1. AvatarApache John

      You think any national news agency wants to attach their name to a story that is pro sex offenders? From everything I’ve read this town has take ask steps appropriately. This story was clearly written at the urging of Mobarez, there is a reason you can only find a story that is for his side of things on this website, no national news agency would touch this story with a 1,000ft pole.

  7. AvatarFacts should matter

    This is exactly why I’m terrified of moving to a different location. Once you do, those GD “safety alerts” go out and you’re bad-mouthed preemptively turning your would-be neighbors forever against you. It’s as though everything is a “cul-de-sac king” with seniority and gets to decide your fate just over a “reverse cry wolf” alert being sent out. And by the way, anyone that signs up for those most be immensely paranoid and brainwashed with fear.

    The registry promotes elitism and hate, not public safety and prevention. It actually gives people the WRONG idea and the green-light to dehumanize others.

  8. AvatarDan

    Nobody’s mentioned that the person refusing to register someone is almost certainly violating the law themselves. Here in Michigan, the registry law spells out requirements for the registrant AND for those responsible for it, including spelling out what information they must record. Therefore, failing to record information provided by a registration would be a violation in the same way as failing to provide the information would. The law clearly states that failure to comply is a felony with up to 2 years in prison.

    1. AvatarDeanna Foster

      My thoughts exactly! I would think the local police could be held accountable?

    2. AvatarRollingmyeyes

      The information that you are missing is that this “program” failed to get licensing through the town, and is actually not in compliance with the development code. It is because of this that the authorities put a pause on any more people registering in the first place. So no, it was not an illegal move. But ignoring town codes is

  9. AvatarJohn Doe

    This writer is welcome to put her money whare her mouth is and purchase my house so she can experience this ” opportunity of a life time” for her self. Hower I would expect her to pay the value of my before this rehabilitation center moved in on my street diminishing home values. While she is at it maybe she can cover the diminished value of every other house on the street. So many wrong and twisted facts in this article its unreal for one CARR recommends not housing sex offenders because of the issues it presents to the communities involved not to mention one with over 20 juveniles living in the 14 houses on this street alone. Mr. Mobarez is by no means a Saint and Sandy was quick to quote remarks made turd Mr. Mobarez at the meeting in questin however failed to include some of the racially charges remarks that he made provoking quoted comments from the crowd.
    Sandy I have a house for sale and an opportunity of a life time with your name on it.

    Please excuse my mistakes, writing this from moble phone and my dyslexic brain doesn’t help either.

  10. AvatarThink logically

    Why would he choose to place a group of convicted sex offenders in a family neighborhood full of children and families? This is not the proper setting for rehabilitation. Secondly he operates these homes under the guise of “sober living” when the a true sober living house is for people recovering from substance addiction. According to his website he offers no sort of substance abuse recovery programs such as AA or NA and it is not centered around true recovery from substance addiction. These people are required to be sober because of their parole or probation.

    1. AvatarLogically

      They are not recovering from substance abuse issues. He is certified through CARR as a sober living but they is only to get some sort of ADA protection because unlike sex offenders addiction actually is a disability. The fact that he is trying to hide it under the umbrella of a true “sober living” is shameful. This neighborhood is not going to have their children be the test group for this man’s money grab, the 8 people that this may help does not outweigh the damage that it does to this Neighborhood

  11. AvatarTim in WI

    There are many uses of the database driven infrastructure.
    Imagine how impossible such conflicts would be without ” the right to know” about sex offenders in the area. The right to know is not written in the constitution anywhere. Nevertheless ” the people ” demanded more notice with free internet tech. ( SOR.) No invented thing is free of cost. The demand for electronic public NOTICE, had a cost, and inevitably expanded the scope of the social conflicts and problem with sex offenders. It created an unhealthy sense of general paranoia. Most here would agree this self perpetuating paranoia is misplaced and dangerous to liberty, and it is. Then where should the people’s healthy and real paranoia be placed. The databases.

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