Officials at Minnesota’s Moose Lake Sex Offenders Program began unbolting the two dozen 50-inch plasma television sets at the center yesterday after Gov. Tim Pawlenty called the purchase “boneheaded” and ordered a search to find out who made the decision, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The TVs, costing $1,576 apiece with $706 mounting brackets, were ordered last October and installed at the new $45 million treatment center when it opened in July. Officials said the televisions made it easier to supervise patients at the 400-bed facility.
When Pawlenty learned of the purchase in a Star Tribune story, he ordered the televisions removed immediately and sold if possible. “Clearly somebody just made a boneheaded decision, and I’m going to reverse it,” he said. Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said, “The governor believes those involved should be reprimanded, at a minimum.” Democrats said the episode points a finger at top officials in the Pawlenty administration — not a low-level bureaucrat — who have repeatedly exercised poor oversight of the state’s many agencies and commissions.