Republican State Representative Joe Schomacker from Luverne wants an explanation from the state Human Services Department, after a 31-year-old sex offender at the Saint Peter Regional Treatment Center escaped Thursday afternoon during a group outing at River Hills Mall in Mankato — and wasn’t captured until the next morning:

“Why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to bring a known sex offender — a dangerous sex offender — into a place where there’s the potential to have contact around children, is just the tip-of-the-iceberg of the questions.”

…says Schomacker, who wants hearings on that and other issues.  He says public safety has been in question a lot over the last few years, and…

“A case like this doesn’t ease anyone’s mind on what’s going on.”

State Human Services officials weren’t immediately available to respond.