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February 07, 2005

Ex-Congressman Sex Offender Told to Move Out of House

February 7, 2005 [Associated Press]

CHICAGO -- A former congressman who resigned after being convicted of having sex with an underage campaign worker has been ordered to leave his Chicago home because it is near an elementary school.

Police gave Mel Reynolds 30 days to move out of the house because of a state law that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a dense concentration of children, police department spokesman Dave Bayless said.

Reynolds, 53, has lived at the home on the city's South Side since 2001, according to public records.

Authorities discovered that Reynolds was living near the Salem Christian Academy when he checked in with police as part of a mandatory annual visit. New computer software identified the problem last month after comparing his address to nearby schools, day-care centers and playgrounds, Bayless said.

Telephone directories did not list a number for Reynolds, and he could not be reached for comment Sunday.

The Chicago Democrat resigned in 1995 after being convicted of sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old campaign worker. In 1997, he was convicted of fraudulently obtaining bank loans and diverting money intended for voter-registration drives into his campaign fund. He was sentenced to five years in prison in that case.

Reynolds served a total of 2 1/2 years in prison before President Clinton commuted his prison term in 2001.

Reynolds made a bid for the congressional seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in 2004 but lost in the primary.

Posted by Nancy at February 7, 2005 04:40 AM