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State Supreme Court overturns decision on sex offenders rental assistance

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HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court has ruled that housing officials improperly removed a man from Connecticut’s rental assistance program because his name was on the state’s sex offender registry.

The state Housing Department issued a regulation in 2012 that made those on the registry ineligible for housing assistance.

But the court ruled Thursday that the regulation cannot be applied retroactively to those who were already in the program.

The ruling, which overturns a lower court decision, comes in the case of Francis Shannon, a legally blind Hartford man who lost his rental assistance in 2013. He had been convicted in 1997 of endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey and in 2000 om Connecticut for public indecency.

The state argued unsuccessfully that it was not acting retroactively, but was instead denying Shannon future benefits he might receive.