Several tenants at living in a Canton apartment building tell newsnet5.com that managers are failing to notify residents about the twelve registered sex offenders living in the building.
Some allege that managers are throwing away notification cards sent by the Stark County Sheriff’s Department.
“I’ve been here almost two years and every time the manager has gotten mail in here with a sex offender card he throws it in the trash,” said tenant John Stone.
Stone is one of several residents who contacted newsnet5.com with similar allegations. The others tenants have asked not to be identified.
According to the Stark County Sheriff’s Department, notices are sent out to neighbors within a 1,100-foot radius of the homes of Level III felony offenders every two years.
The notices are also sent every time a Level III felony offender moves into an area.
Only five of the 12 offenders are classified as Level III.
Neighbors who live nearby the apartment complex told newsnet5.com that they have been receiving regular notifications about offenders living at the complex.
“I notice probably about three that I get a month of those notices that there are offenders around here,” said neighbor Linda Napier.
But several tenants inside they building say they’ve never seen the cards posted.
Newsnet5.com spoke with property manager Kevin Elbert, who is a registered sex offender himself.
He denied ever throwing away cards and said he has a verbal conversation with all tenants about the sex offenders living in the building.
“That’s not true,” Elbert said. “Everybody that moves in here before they move in are told that registered sex offenders live here.”
Newsnet5.com spoke to three tenants who said they were never notified verbally.
Elbert said he’s aware of the allegations but said tenants were making the claims in retaliation against him for other issues in the building. He said that the majority of cards he receives are for the homeless shelter nearby, not his own apartment.
An investigator with the Stark County Sheriff’s Department said that the sex offender registry division has received complaints in the past that the apartment was not posting notices for residents, but had not received any complaints recently.
The sheriff’s department said it would investigate the new allegations.
Residents can sign up for automatic notifications about sex offenders living in their area through the Ohio Attorney General's website.