Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TYC to staff: 'Don't talk to legislators'

First it was "Don't talk to the media." Now it's "Don't talk to the Lege." Just shut up, says the Texas Youth Commission to its employees, and let Ed Owens do the talking for everyone!

That's wrong - TYC employees pay taxes just like everybody else and have every right to inform legislators of their job conditions and what's happening on the ground. Thanks to the TYC employee who forwarded this latest memo from TYC management to its employees:
Subject: Legislature Requests

Dear TYC Staff:

I know you are all overwhelmed with the attention on the agency right now and the many requests for information that you are receiving from both the media and the legislature. As always, but especially during this time, it is important that we provide timely and accurate information to legislators and their staff. Part of my responsibility is to provide this information to them. When you receive requests for information from legislators and their staff, please either politely refer them to my office or find out what information they are seeking and contact me so that I may provide it to them.

If you have any questions, please contact me at any time. Thank you for continuing to work so hard for our youth.

Sincerely,
Kerri Davidson
Chief of Staff
Texas Youth Commission

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now we know why Perry’s office is calling the top position at TYC a Czar! Is Texas now a Russian State?

TJDO said...

Well, we know Ms. Davidson didn't unilaterally make this decision. It then begs the question, what are they hiding? I hope this memo was forwarded to members of the House Corrections Committee and the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

I think we all understand the need for an orderly process in responding to requests from legislators, the press, and the public. However, in this instance and all instances of state public service, when a legislator asks a question of a state employee, it's in the best interest for the state employee to respond. More importantly, state employees need to understand a little about administrative behavior; the legislature IS the customer.

Anonymous said...

The letter says "accurate" information. Problem is in the very recent past, information was not shared and it was inaccurate to the extent that many problems were covered up or ignored.

So the media and the legislature, even Ed Owens cannot get information without the employees.

Will the next letter tell staff to avoid speaking to one another and their superiors?

It is not funny anymore!!

Anonymous said...

anon at 11:43...we were just discussing that very thing in my office...when will we get the email that we aren't even allowed to talk to each other? *rolls eyes*

You're right...it isn't funny at all.

Oh...I know it hasn't hit the blog yet...but I just got an email that the Deputy Executive Director is resigning and the Dallas Morning News reports that the General Counsel is resigning as well. And isn't it fun to get the information first from the newspaper rather than from agency management?

Anonymous said...

Throw the bums out! Now the Travis County D.A. needs to start indicting the dirt bags for what they have done to the TYC youth and the lives they haves destroyed because they couldn’t keep their pants zipped up or didn’t rat out the perverts! Hope there are many more to come. How about Tim “the spin doctor” Savoy being next on the chopping block. Where is Lydia Bernard the queen of cover up?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:37 ... You called it. This is typical of typical of governor's office 'management' techniques. It is an attempt to get control and 'put out fires' and create a message that they think you will believe - that is, "Everything's alright now, we're here." It's just insulting.

Anonymous said...

I have an ordered up an inquisition committee with Rissie spearheading that committee. There objective is to identify these rogue comment writers so that I can fire them for childish shenanigans and insubordination of new found authority. I control all, you are now forewarned. Rissie and I are the only Texas government officials that do not have to answer to anyone on any matter. Thanks Rick for the power perks!

Ed Owens

Anonymous said...

Is anyone concerned that the "TYC Czar has no juvenile justice experience?"

It is sad the way Dr. Reyes has had to leave TYC. She devoted many years of ethical, creative, and effective service.

Anonymous said...

Davidson is in over her head in this matter. Simply put... a cheerleader on a "b" team. They need Judy Brisco to come back. Only Judy can do it... this kid is eye candy and,that's it.

Anonymous said...

anon at 9:40...couldn't agree with you more. Dr. Reyes was a wonderful person to work with. I learned a lot from being around her. And even though I did not work in her department, she was always willing to share her experience and expertise with me.

And I'm still in shock over Neil Nichols. For them to basically accuse him of not caring about the kids and their rights shows such a fundamental lack of understanding of the history of the agency.

But history isn't important as far as I can tell. They certainly don't expect anyone else to remember it...you know, things like TYC asking for money for cameras to cover the blind spots or additional staff to improve the ratios or more money to do more training. You know...all the things they just magically came up with to "fix" TYC. *rolls eyes*

As far as I can tell, no one outside the agency seems to care that our "czar" or our "master" have no juvenile justice experience. But I don't think that's what got them their jobs. I mean honestly...if you're management at TYC and there's a scandal involving abuse of inmates...you get forced to resign. But if you're Ed Owens and there's an inmate abuse scandal while you're #2 at TDCJ...you get to go be executive director of another agency. It's not about what you know...it's about who you know.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11:16 - Highly astute observation.

Knowing that doesn't make it any better, but it does make it easier to understand. It's really not much different from anything else in life.

I think Neil and Linda were wonderful. I also think they made some stupid mistakes that caught up with them.

Regarding Davidson - give me a break. She refers repeatedly to 'requests for information'.

She didn't mean "no! don't talk to a legislator!!", she meant when a legislator asks me, Joe Blow at facility X, for the amount of money we spent on widgets (or whatever), I should refer them to her so she can refer them to finance...instead of just pulling some figure out of my butt.

Not everything has a sinister motive. She's doing exactly what a CoS is supposed to do - she's just trying to keep track of all the CRAP that is being asked for.

I keep waiting for Greenpeace or the Sierra club to join this party...thus far, I figure we've destroyed about 7.4 acres of forest at the governments request. *sniff*

Regardless, I'll talk to whoever I damn well please. :)

Anonymous said...

The buck stops at the top! Before this is over there will be many good people in the field who have lost their job because the administration at TYC screwed up. If my job gets screwed up then they need to go too! They were in charge! They got the big bucks and trampled on people in the field like they were trash under their feet. I hope they go to jail and have to do time for all the lives they have had a negative effect on.

If you believe this email has nothing to do with talking to Legislators about your personal views then you might want to look at the timing of the email. The email came out about one working day after the legislature visited the Marlin unit and talked to employees about their concerns. The email sent a message to the worker bees even if the writer of the email did try to vail the true purpose.

The cover up continues! Big Ed has brought his cover up expertise from TDCJ to TYC. The old administration bungled the cover up so they are out! Ed was named as a defendant in a serious sexual misconduct legal action and the state paid out a considerable amount of our tax money for damages. Perry wants this covered up and he brought out his best man for the job. It is totally irrelevant that Ed knows has no experience in juvenile justice, he is here for the cover up and positive political spin doctor action.

Looks like Master Kimbrough’s position may be unconstitutional. Once again Gov. Perry may have over stepped has authority which could bring numerous law suites and compromise criminal proceedings. What a mess!

Anonymous said...

Now, I hope our Legislature will believe the stories about Ed and Rissie are true. They both need to be fired and find themselves another hiding place. What a shame the Governor of Texas feels he has the right to place a common criminal over children's lives. They have been through enough and he puts Ed Owens over them.

Mr. Perry, did you not learn enough when the lawsuite was paid to get Ed out of the sexual abuse scandal at TDCJ? Evidently not! You have caused a total screw up and to put a man and his wife in charge of peoples lives who are as rotten as the two of them, you need to look in the mirror and ask God, "What have I done?" Then you need to take immediate steps to undo this.

To our Legislature, get these two our of the lives of other people, we frankly don't need more abuse than already exists at TYC and TDCJ. Don't let Mr. Perry run Texas forever!!

Anonymous said...

For all of you who speak "fondly" of ANYONE in the higher ranks of TYC (post and present)- I would caution you regarding throwing any "love or support" their way. Linda Reyes and Judy Brisco DO NOT HAVE CLEAN HANDS and if you are defending them, be ready to go down with them. Don't be fooled by surface pleasantries and feel good stories. This corruption did not just happen overnight. It has been built, molded, supported and perpetuated for years and years and years. Even by the least obvious.
Neil Nichols was one of the MOST corrupt people in the agency. If you never saw his "bad" side, consider yourself lucky. He smiled when he threatened you. Who ever called Lydia Barnard the, "Queen of Cover Up". Amen. But, she is just one of many henchmen.
Voicing your love or support for anyone within the higher ranks of TYC may come back to bite you when they are the next one arrested, when the next email or file is uncovered, or when the pack finally starts to turn on each other and starts to bark.

And, for those upset that they have been asked not to talk, consider what will happen if you do (to the media or others not in direct line to affect change). Here's what ALWAYS happens when someone just looses it from frustration and goes to the wrong people. They tell the ABSOLUTE TRUTH as to what is going on, the media or other inappropriate people BLAST it over the entire US, EVERYONE (including the guilty see the information) which gives them all the time in the world to shred, destroy, threaten, cover-up and deny every aspect- because they saw it all coming. This investigation of the agency can only have a chance if the guilty don't see what's coming. That and getting someone in the top positions who have the right training, the right motivations and are themselves free of the accusations they are investigating others for. It is apparent that Gov. Perry has put this low on his agenda list and "friends of friends" are continuing to be given tasks well beyond their capabilities or authority. He becomes personally involved with forcing little girls to have mandatory shots for something they may never be exposed to, passes immediate legislation for it but cannot take the time to personally protect thousands of youth and staff PROVEN to have been subjected to rape, broken bones, assaults, corruption, etc.? Hmmm.