Updated: 06/18/2014 11:11 PM
Created: 06/18/2014 11:09 PM WDIO.com
By: Tom Hauser
It’s been nearly two years since a federal judge ordered Minnesota to fix its sex offender program, to allow for some offenders to be released. However, not much has changed and it's an issue in the campaign for Minnesota Governor.
Fifty-eight-year old Thomas Duvall is "exhibit a" in the vexing problem of what to do with the state's worst sex offenders. He's one of about 700 confined at treatment facilities for sex offenders who are in civil commitment after release from prison.
Duvall's been recommended for release, despite admitting to at least 60 sexual assaults; including some involving teenage girls.
Attorney General Lori Swanson wants him to remain locked up and now accuses Duvall of destroying journals he's kept in which he describes violent sexual fantasies.
Republican candidate for governor Kurt Zellers blames the Dayton administration for fumbling the issue.
He says Democrats control the Governor's office, House and Senate; and failed to address the issue.
Dayton declined to comment on camera in time for our deadline, but as he walked into a meeting his press secretary handed out a written statement about Zeller's criticism. He accuses Zellers of "hyper-political posturing.”
The governor goes on to say Zellers did nothing to resolve this situation as a member of the house. And says he "stood silent" while attempts were made to fix it.
In 2012, a federal judge told the legislature to fix the sex offender program, because it's largely become a life sentence after prison release. But no lawmakers want to vote for a bill that looks like they want to release sex offenders.
In his statement, Dayton notes "Duvall is not a prisoner, he is civilly-committed." He also points out the decision to destroy his own personal property is between him and his lawyer. Dayton says it's legal under current law.
Scannell Convicted on Both Counts
A jury has convicted Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The verdict comes after about nine hours of deliberations yesterday evening and today.
Spirit Mountain Seeing Big Changes
Just months into a new executive director, Spirit Mountain is seeing some big changes. Daniel Fanning with the mayor's office says three positions are being discontinued, including the director of marketing, director of operations, and director of skier services.
Cider House Opens in Historic Duluth Building
In a city of craft beer, Endion Station is Duluth's first cider house. The group behind Fitger's Brewhouse bought the old train depot, which now sits in Canal Park, two years ago and reopened the piece of history Friday.
Engineering Firms Expanding in Twin Ports
Duluth and Superior are winning awards for the best places to live, and the Twin Ports economy is looking good as two engineering firms expand in both cities. Company leader say new offices opening on Friday mean more local jobs.
Man Killed During Storm in Quetico Park
Ontario Provincial Police say a West Virginia man died during Tuesday morning's storm in Quetico Provincial Park. Charles Emerson Showalter, 63, of Wheeling, W.V., died after a tree fell on him while he slept in a tent.