CEDAR CITY — A local resident's request to the Cedar City Council for an exemption to one of its ordinances has raised the question of when – or if – a convicted sex offender who has since served their time and been crime-free should be allowed to have the same freedoms to pursue a living as other citizens.
The issue first came up in May when Enoch resident Jamie Sherman spoke to the City Council during the public comment portion of the agenda.
Sherman told the council that he and his wife are seeking to open a taxi cab business in Cedar City, but he was unable to receive the necessary city permit because he has to register as a sex offender for an offense that occurred nearly 20 years ago. This registration is one of a variety of disqualifications listed under the taxi cab ordinance.
Since Sherman's crime occurred in North Carolina, he would have to live in that state for 10 consecutive years and be crime-free in order to have the registry requirement lifted. While Sherman said he has indeed had a totally clean record since his conviction, he did not stay in North Carolina, so he is required to register as a sex offender in each state where he resides for the rest of his life – or until he returns to North Carolina and remains there for 10 years.
Sherman requested that the council look into his situation and see if there's anything council members can do to help.
"The only thing I'm trying to do is provide a better life for my family and for myself," he said. "I was just wondering if there was any way that you could change the regulations for somebody like me so that I can drive a cab and provide for my family."