"The party's over" for new Texas Youth Commission director Ed Owens, declares the facade over at the TexasJustice.Net message board, pictured above.
Damn, that was quick!
Yesterday in the Dallas Morning News, Diane Jennings wrote that Owens' appointment "was greeted warmly around the state." She quoted Democratic House Corrections Committee member Rep. Jim Dunnam declaring, "I have not heard anything other than positive about Mr. Owens."
I guess neither Dunnam nor Ms. Jennings are Grits readers, because Grits commenters and prison guard bloggers at The Back Gate immediately identified this as a problematic appointment when Governor Perry announced it.
On Saturday, Grits posted court documents online provided by TexasJustice.org alleging that Owens himself covered up sex abuse allegations among his subordinates when he was the #2 man at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The state settled a civil suit stemming from those allegations last year.
Despite the unwelcome news about Owens, however, it's too early to say whether the party is really over yet. Over at Capitol Annex, Vince is busy combing through TYC's board minutes over the last two years looking for abuse references.
I get the feeling the party's only just begun.
Related Grits coverage on TYC and the Owens family:
- Settled lawsuit alleges TYC's Ed Owens covered up sex abuse scandal at TDCJ!
- Stop the preening, folks: Everyone's culpable on TYC
- Owens: TYC is safe for kids ... WHAT?!
- TYC Scandal shows the politics of crime and punishment
- Should Rangers "take the hit" on TYC?
- Can Texas judges know kids sentenced to TYC are safe?
- The Back Gate: Ed Owens wrong leader for TYC
- New TYC chief threatens employees?
- Corrections Committee bills focus on TYC
- Reflections on a weird day
- Questioning Rissie Owens
- Rissie Owens still won't talk
- Following Rissie Owens