Joliet Mayor Demands Answers Over Building That Houses Multiple Sex Offenders

Joliet's mayor says he has reached out to Gov. Pritzker's office for help

NBC Universal, Inc.

Joliet’s mayor is promising to take action against an apartment building that he says is housing at least five convicted sex offenders.

According to Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk, the building is located at 1000 Cora Street, and city officials were not informed that such an arrangement had been made.

“We were never notified by anyone that this was coming or in place,” the mayor said. “It took the city by surprise and the neighborhood.”

The City of Joliet believes that the owner of the property has entered into a contract with the Illinois Department of Corrections, which exempts him from a state law that prohibits the housing of more than one sex offender at any specific location. 

“It is absurd that anyone at any level of government would think this is a good idea” O’Dekirk said. “The City’s Legal Department has been instructed to take all appropriate action to shut this down. I believe placing five sex offenders at one location in any city poses an imminent threat to the people inside that neighborhood.” 

Joliet City Manager Jim Capparelli says he is looking at all legal remedies available to the community.

“This goes to the heart of the matter that Joliet has become a dumping ground for Will County communities," he said. "This has got to stop, and I will be seeking a moratorium on the expansion of existing social services housing located in Joliet.”

O’Dekirk says he has reached out to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker seeking his help in addressing the situation.

Resident Robert Sassine has lived in the building for several years.

“I don’t even come out anymore,” said Sassine. “(There are) two or three people living in the same apartment. Who is paying for this? The state?"

Julie Williams has lived in the neighborhood for more than five years, and she says she worries about her grandkids.

“I get everyone needs a safe place to stay,” said Williams. “But so do our kids. They also need a place to be safe. Now I got to watch my back and watch my kids' back. When they get an urge? How are they going to control it."

An attorney for NewDay Apartments sent NBC Chicago this statement:

"NewDay provides safe and stable housing for registrants, within the bounds of the law and under the supervision of the Illinois Department of Corrections. NewDay’s commitment to providing this housing opportunity fills an urgent need and makes the community safer. It also supports those who are working to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to society."

The Cunningham Neighborhood Council says it will discuss the building at a meeting Wednesday night.

To learn more about sex offenders in Joliet and where you live, just visit the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

Contact Us