Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ed Owens: My job at TYC is done

In the Austin Statesman today Mike Ward answers why Texas Youth Commission conservator Ed Owens has appeared AWOL the last few weeks - he actually retired on Aug. 31 and now only occasionally comes to Austin or checks in by phone.

Owens didn't tell the Legislature at the joint House-Senate hearing on August 29 that he would retire and become a volunteer two days later - it's inconceivable that he didn't know, so the only reason could be an intentional decision to keep them (and everyone) in the dark.

During his tenure, Owens filled most of the top TYC management positions with people from the adult prison system, often using emergency conservatorship powers to allow hiring without a formal job application process or ever publicly posting the jobs. Now he's bailing out, apparently, leaving the agency's considerable problems to a management team that possesses little juvenile justice experience.

Ward quoted Whitmire and Madden saying the agency wasn't ready for its conservatorship to end, but Owens hasn't really been calling the shots there for many months.

I'm not sorry to see Ed Owens go, but he's dead wrong that the job of reforming the agency is not complete. The Governor needs to seize the opportunity to appoint a new conservator who's more qualified for the job and who doesn't come to the table with so much baggage.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Incredible. Just incredible.

Anonymous said...

Can we trust the wonderful governor Goodhair to make a decent decision regarding the next appointment. The job of the Conservator is to keep the focus off the total incompetence of the governor and the leaders of the legislature. Ed did his job superbly. Enjoy your retirement, Ed, you earned it!

Anonymous said...

owens, loser, same thing

kimbrough said he would not share a foxhole with somebody he did not know

truth of the matter is that owens has left the fox hole

kimbrough is digging new foxholes

and by the way both are self serving individuals living in the past.

one now lives in huntsville and i guess the hole digger lives in bryan texas

tyc does not have foxholes

but it definitely has some cunning foxes living out of town being foxy

Anonymous said...

So how much money did Ed Owens make for the great job he has done?
Was it money well spent? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I bet he will enjoy his retirement. The state of Texas paid him big bucks for being AWOL most of the time!! I bet any of us in the rank & file would have been terminated had we not shown up for work! What did he do for the youth or employees?? How did he improve TYC? This chapter in Texas history will be at most, absurd! I hope you are proud Mr. Guv Goodhair and the lege!

Anonymous said...

The next conservator.........

Has a difficult job. Clearly competent help is needed. I pray there will be an improvement over the miserable job done in the last six months!

Anonymous said...

Look for da Pope to replace Owens. You saw it hear first.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Pope is not the right person for the job. She has no integrity!

Anonymous said...

What has integrity got to do with anything in this sordid mess? We can hope for someone like Judge Meurer, but her problem is that she has integrity and she knows a thing or two about juvenile justice. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it - this crowd, from Kimbrough, to Owens to Pope, have all done exactly what the politicians demanded of them. Did y'all listen to the mantra at the last joint hearing? "Old crew bad, new crew wonderful!" Whitmire began the systematic destruction of TYC over 12 years ago. Goodhair could not possibly let his Democratic rival to outdo him with cuts, so he increased them. Meanwhile they all, Republicans and Democrats alike are busy lining their pockets. Like I said, integrity, what is that?

Anonymous said...

10:23, we all know you're probably right, but hope beyond hope that you're not.

Anonymous said...

I would still like to know why Eddie Martinez the supt at Evins was let go?

Anonymous said...

Ed Owens needs to go He has destroyed TYC along with all of His worthless friends ,,, Pope, Whitemore, Chuey, lol TYC is worse than it ever was along with now the Hundreds of Law Suits, We need to remove them all and bring back Steve Robinson to clean up this mess....

Anonymous said...

Bring back Steve Robinson? Now there's a major step backwards for TYC. I thought everyone wanted a "decent decision" for the new conservator.

dteach500 said...

To quote an old Roy Clark song:

"Thank God and Greyhound he's gone!"

Anonymous said...

Sandy Burnam, while I don't think she should want to take the Exec. Dir. Position I would hope she might take the Conservator position since it would be short term.

I agree that Steve might not be the best choice since it was under his leadership that got this ball rolling.

I am not for Alan Steen, either. I am acutely aware that Alan Steen was aware of how corrupt Chester and fought Chester on many decisions. Alan is actually a very good manager but he still has a bit too much of the good ole boy in him and he can be a vindictive SOB. Plus why would he leave such a cush job such as the TABC.

Anonymous said...

Actually the new conservator should be someone who has no baggage from the past (this leaves out Steve Robinson, Alan Steen, Sandy Burnham, and all of the TDCJ cronies). The conservator could be someone from lower level management, or someone from out of state with lots of Juvenile Justice experience (Which was the initial promise of this action) and someone who is willing to cut bait or fish, but not sit on the bank and look.

Anonymous said...

Ed Owens’ retirement from state service was announced today by the Austin American Statesman in a story by Mike Ward. It says Owens is meeting with the governor’s people to find his replacement if one is even needed. I thought it was only a few days ago Owens told the Legislative Committee the conservatorship had no end in sight! All the sudden Owens bails out of a $140,000 a year job because he decides to retire. Things do not add up! $11,666 a month and you walk away. What is wrong with this picture? Ok so the salary is totally outrageous, but do you see Ed Owens walking away from this cash cow? Also in the same article Whitmire was unavailable for comment. Jerry Madden said TYC is a safer place than it was before the politicians took over. It seems to me Mr. Madden has not been to any of the TYC units such as Mart. I am sure he is misinformed and not lying to the public. No doubt he is not aware of the staffing problems at TYC.

I am glad the MSM finally did a story on Ed Owens problems at TDCJ. Only problem it is a little too late. I emailed the information to every member of the Texas Legislature about Owens TDCJ legal problems with supporting documentation from our favorite blog months ago while the Texas Legislature was in session. Our elected officials knew about Ed Owens past and did nothing. I emailed Jerry Madden about Ed Owens’ past and he defended Owens. I guess they will all be so surprised at the DMN article about Owens. I have copies of the emails sent in case they try to say they didn’t know about Owens past.

TYC is a story that will not die thanks to Scott and his blog. If it were not for Scott’s coverage of TYC it would be nothing more than old news if not forgotten!

Anthony Mikulastik

Anonymous said...

With 29 years of state service Ed will be "taking home" more in retirement pay than he did working for the State. Also he could come back in the same position and STILL make that pay plus his retirement. That appears to be a good sound business choice to me!

Anonymous said...

With 29 years Ed Owens will not be taking home more than he made working for the state! Yes he theoretically could be reappointed by the governor but what are the chances after the DMN article? I am sure a good sound business choice would not be giving up $140,000 a year for what he is making in state retirement. If you think those of us who have worked for the state for many years believe your “Good business choices” explanation you have seriously underestimated us. Ed Owens’ baggage from TDCJ is what took him out. He became a liability to Good Hair and it was time for him to go to the house after the DMN put his business on the streets!

I am sure there are many people who are just as qualified as Ed Owens ready to accept a $140K job. You don’t have to have any juvenile justice experience or management skills. The best part is you don’t even have to show up for work on a regular basis. It would probably be best that you have not been caught covering up felony grade sexual offenses in the past.

I wish there would be more well done stories about the original TYC story. A good story about who knew what at WTSS and who covered it up and why would be nice reading. A great job has been done by current TYC administration to keep the focus off of Good Hair and what he knew and why he didn’t act. Kimbrough got his reward for a job well done by getting a nice job at TAM University and I think Ed Owens will be rewarded too.

Contract care is on the way for TYC. A few key politicians and their friends will be the only winners when this is all over. It will not be the TYC youth, TYC employees, or the public who are the winners and that is just wrong!

Anonymous said...

Steve Robinson? You gotta be kidding! He started the downward spiral. Sandy Burnham - she would be better suited as Executive Commissioner. How about this one- Judge Muerer as Conservator and Sandy Burnham as acting Executive Director? There would definitely be some quick moves back to TDCJ with that scenario. Might even result in people like Marie Murdoch and Don Brantley coming back. Nope - that would never work- it was never the purpose of our political leaders to improve TYC. They want to sell it.

I say get the preachers involved - they influence a lot of votes. Let your preacher know about all the corruption and malfeasance of our governor and Senator Whitmire. Get the preacher network rolling. It has already started - the religious volunteers are mobilizing. We TYC employees need to join them in their efforts.

Anonymous said...

I'd say Kinky Friedman as the next conserveta'

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Or Ted Nugent, perhaps? :)

Anonymous said...

Ted's Cool.

Anonymous said...

Ed's retirement was clearly stated from the time he first started at TYC. Da Pope advertised it freely. No news there. The scarey thing is hearing folks talk about bringing back Robinson, Burnham, Brantley or Murdoch!

Anonymous said...

6:58 is an idiot. probably from evins.

Anonymous said...

8:40, the scary part is having Owens, Pope and Bronco Billy instead of Robinson, Burnham, Brantley and Murdoch!

Anonymous said...

With all the stories breaking this past weekend (even though it was reported here months ago) whats the word about TYC's new leadership?

Is Ed staying or going?

Is Dimitria staying or going?

Does the Governor and our elected officials have anything worth commenting on regarding TYC. today?

Anonymous said...

FROM KLBJ Austin News radio-

TYC Conservator Retires, But Doesn't Leave
9/17/2007

Newsroom

The man appointed as the second conservator of the Texas Youth Commission retires, but he hasn't left the agency.

TYC officials confirm that Ed Owens retired last month, after 29 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. TYC spokesman Jim Hurley says Owens was appointed as the agency's conservator in June, when he replaced Jay Kimbrough. At the time of his appointment, Hurley says Owens was on loan from TDCJ. He says Owens was paid by TDCJ, not the Youth Commission. Hurley points out that Owens doesn't have to have a state job to be conservator. He says he doesn't have to have a job at all.

Since Owens retired, Hurley says Owens is now working without pay. Hurley says since he retired, Owens does much of his work from home, but he comes to Austin a couple of days a week. He says Owens plans to stay on as conservator because he believes in TYC's mission.

Anonymous said...

Governor Perry appointed Ed Owens to take the heat off the fact that he and his wife held high level positions at TDCJ and BPP respectiverly.

Ed was able to earn more time toward his retirement and Perry was able to dodge a bullet from the Sunset Commission.

Texas politics at its best. Trouble is that TYC has suffered more than enough! The idea of Ed continuing as a volunteer conservator means the powers that be do not take the problems seriousely enough!

Anonymous said...

Is there no end to the obsession with doing things on the cheap?

Ed Owens is really going to stay on as an unpaid "volunteer conservator"? Really?

Between that and the pepper spray, I wonder where all the savings are going.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned 'double dipping' as a possible option for Ed. He 'retires' for a month off the state payroll, then comes back next month and receives his conservator paycheck and his retirement check. I'd work for 'free' for a month if after that I'd get twice the money.

Anonymous said...

I am going, I am staying! More on and off management from TYC. Ed does not show for work on a regular basis so he needs to be replaced. I am sure he works 8+ hours a day from home for free. If anyone believes this crap I have some swamp land I want to sell you. Good Hair does not want a new conservator because he likes the job being done on TYC! The plan is to destroy TYC and take it contract care. That is all this has ever been about, MONEY for the greedy politicians and their friends. None of the people who are running this operation have ever cared anything about the TYC kids or the public. Not one person has been convicted of any crime related to TYC and I bet they never are. Most of the real criminals have not even been arrested. This fight has been fixed from the very start and there is nothing anyone can do to stop the destruction of TYC. If you are still working for TYC you best be looking for a new job because the one you have now has a limited life span.

Anonymous said...

To 17/9/07, 4:11pm: Ed's take home pay will be MORE than he is taking home as a state employee. If you were a state employee with a supplemental peace officer retirement (and contributed to retirement plans such as 401K) you would be taking home more then you take home as a non-retired state employee.

During my tenure with the state there were several retired employees who came back to work after their 30 days were up. An indicator that a position is being "saved"is when a key position is not promptly posted or filled.

No appointment has been made for Ed's position because he is still holding the position. The state is getting at least one month's lapsed salary for his status.

For all you folks that are concerned about the present appointed TYC Administration: Why do you think these people were selected?

Answer: They were selected because they will carry out the will of those who selected them! If you all really believe anyone will be selected that will "buck" the system (Lege, et al), you need to wake up to the real world. Stay safe out there. Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of appointing Kinky Friedman as a new TYC conservator. That way, Govenor's Good Hair could GO KINKY!!!!!

On a serious note, I think Kinky Friedman is a good choice. He had my vote in the last election. Perry is making me GLAD I did not vote for him!!!

Anonymous said...

9:05 thinks 6:58 is an idiot from Evins. Must have struck a nerve with someone in administration.

Anonymous said...

probably thinks you're an idiot too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone is afraid of the potential power of the pulpit. Let's discredit anyone who suggests such a thing to keep it from happening. One doesn't have to agree with preachers to realize that they do, in fact weild a tremendous amount of power, especially among a population that is largely ignorant of and uninterested in the situation in TYC.

Anonymous said...

He was at Central Office today.