Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has created a high-level state post to coordinate sex-offender policies and named former state House Republican colleague Rep. Eric Lipman of Lake Elmo to head it, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Minnesota needs to “find new and better ways to protect our people from (sexual) predators,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “That’s why we need a strong voice working to coordinate state efforts and drive aggressive reform.”
The Pawlenty administration has been criticized over its sex-offender policies for the past year. Critics said did not think Lipman’s appointment would help. Most recently, the administration has been criticized because ailing sex offenders had been sent to live in several private nursing homes; several women were assaulted in one. Lipman will have his office in the state Corrections Department and will work with the departments of Human Services, Health, and Public Safety. He will help implement “best practices” and coordinate sex-offender policy reform.