Friday, October 12, 2007

Open Thread: TYC Pre-Hearing Roundup

As the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee prepares to meet this morning to discuss private prison oversight and alleged mistreatment of kids at the Geo Group's Coke County juvenile facility, the mainstream media dishes up some food for thought:
Also, this rapid turnaround shows how quickly TYC employees can turn from heroes to goats in the eyes of agency administrators, and how accolades and credit bestowed upon whistleblowers at TYC sometimes can be short-lived:
I'll be headed to today's Senate hearing after an early doctor's appointment. The big show starts at 9 a.m., and you can watch the hearing on video here if you can't make it to Austin.

Use this post as an open thread to discuss any of these topics or to comment on today's hearing.

100 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI: They have placed one of Chip Harrison's proteges in charge of at West Texas. Wallace Brown, along with his mentor, has been responsible for the meteoric rise of a gentleman of whose ineptitude cannot be matched, who I believe is still in an administrative position after 5 sexual harassment complaints. The morons at CO have kept most of the administrators on the road and away from their facilities ever since they took power. But again it doesn't seem that the top dogs are getting punished. I can't help but ask, what has changed?

Anonymous said...

Knowing both Davis and Hollis doesn't help me make comments about them. Both are good men who try to live within the rules and laws set down.

Like Davis, I could be labeled a Chester Clay protege, but that does not make us dishonest or crooked. Like Hollis, I was slighted and ignored by Harrison . A good friend of mine, Monroe Elms was also a whistle blower at WTSS, but he has had health problems related to his tenure at TYC, and has refused to return to the current melee.

I know both Hernandez and Brookins, and am appalled by the fact that Ward County has released these two predators upon the community.

If TYC needs a new conservator, they should consider Monroe Elms. He was never high enough in the heirarchy to be condemned by the legislature and has even had experience as a county Judge.

Anonymous said...

TYC said they had difficulty reaching Davis and Hollis, but did not mention that they have been assigned duties at both the Sheffield Unit (in Sheffield) and the West Texas Unit (in Pyote). these units are about 100 miles apart and there are areas of cellular blackout between the two units. Perhaps the TYC officials who are responsible for this split of duties should be removed. How about it Pope?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote, "If TYC needs a new conservator, they should consider Monroe Elms. He was never high enough in the heirarchy to be condemned by the legislature and has even had experience as a county Judge." You're right, he was never high enough and by a good reason. Monroe Elms...you must be crazy or you are Monroe Elms, so what he was a Judge, what gives him to right to be conservator? Just because he was a "Judge"? d'Pope has no idea what's going on at West Texas. Hollis and Davis got what he deserved!

Anonymous said...

The Dallas Morning News has Billy Hollis stating, "That he was too upset to comment about his removal. I just need a couple of days to calm down," he said." You should have been AROUND! Then you wouldn't be too upset to comment or have to Calm Down. What a joke, he though was that at West Texas State School in Pyote, but he too afraid to walk on campus. You could probably count on one hand how many times he walked on campus. Why would someone be put in charge on a correctional facility if that person is too afraid to walk on the campus that he's over. You're right, he got what he deserved

Anonymous said...

Why do you say that Hollis was too afraid to walk on campus? If he had walked on campus more often then you would be complaining that he was harrassing the staff and micromanaging!! Some folks just want to have something to complain about.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever said where Davis and Hollis were during this bomb threat?

Anyway I bet that Pope was just waiting for something like this to happen so that she could fire Davis and Hollis. I am sure that Pope has a couple of TDCJ buddies in mind that she can put in charge of the West Texas campus.

Anonymous said...

She was also wrong when she said no one from Central Office ever visited facilities from the previous administration. Juvenile Corrections, Education and Treatment staff were on the road all the time to facilities.

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that neither Davis or Hollis could be reached. Has this ever been an issue in the past? Could this be the real reason or a hidden agenda, Hollis has been in the paper a lot lately. I would be willing to bet this will come back and bite someone.

Anonymous said...

10/12/07, 10:39am - I wish I was as stupid as you are. Can't string together two coherent sentences. Hollis could've been like Ayo and spent all his time in Odessa instead of at work.

Anonymous said...

2:19, If you want to be stupid, I guess you are.

Anonymous said...

Temper, temper!

This is typical of Da Pope. Where was she during the bomb threat? Hiding under her desk?

Institutions get bomb threats regularly, and more often than not, the ADO handles it. Usually a phone call to the Supt. and Asst. Supt. is all that is necessary.

If the MSM actually gets wind of how common bomb threats are at institutions da Pope will have more egg on her face.

Anonymous said...

Looks like she has teflon on her face and it'll just slide off.

Anonymous said...

TYC posted the Assistant Superintendents job at West Texas today, I thought it was filled? I guess the Administration in Austin made their minds (used loosely) up to fire without due process. Just amazing, quality leadership.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think all of the good people have already left?

Anonymous said...

If you watched the hearing, you might have noticed Elmer complaining about the problems of conflict of interests. Seems strange for him to suggest this and fail to note his extended relationship with D'Pope, Owen's marriage to his TDCJ wife, Whitmire's law firm to state contracts,
Bush family connection to GEO, GEO's contributions to Whitmire and Madden's campaign's, Kimbrough's connection to the (potential) Kerrville facility, D'Pope and other TDCJ losers,(and, as the King of Siam was alleged to have said:) etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. He presumes that being in the same community in rural Texas and perhaps attending the same church or having kids in the same schools puts you at risk of being compromised. Bronte is only less than 30 minutes from San Angelo with a population of nearly 100,000 only 25,000 less than McAllen where his friend Hinojosa demands protecting the Evins TYC facility. In any case, clearly he has not been to too many churches or school board meetings; attending either is as likely to put people at odds with each other as it is to put them on the same page. Consider: Whitmore and Madden co-chair a committee, but Whitmire cannot resist denigrating Madden as only being a House member. According to many posts on this site, a major problem with GEO and other contract prisons has been too many TDCJ people doing things like they always have. Without denying that problem, where else do you get experienced corrections people? Seems the response is to get monitors that know how to monitor, not worrying about employment history of those in place. Simple response: beef up the ombudsman's office to include competent monitors who will check the facility out whenever there is a supported complaint by a staff or a student.

Anonymous said...

There is no due process at TYC. The Legislature made TYC employees at will so there is no public hearing when someone is fired. TYC can get away with doing anything they want regardless how wrong it may be. More transparent just got a coat of black paint! Pope can do anything to any employee as long as they are not connected and get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any truth to there being a love child from Pope and Elmer Fud?

Anonymous said...

I am interested in the statement made in another section of this blog to the effect that TYC is ignoring the court order on pepperspray. Is anyone aware of any conversations where TYC staff were told to ignore the court order? Have there been any spraying incidents that violated the order? The court can hold TYC leadership responsible for any violations.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Contempt Howard... it's been advised that we ignore the order by Billy. He's not putting it writing. This guy has no respect for the judical system, and it'll break sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Yes Howard there has been at least one conversation that I know of. From Billy to a supt. The supt refused to follow that order. Hopefully they won't get transferred to West Texas for failing to follow that order.

Anonymous said...

Just for those who may not understand, the "order" we're talking about is the most recent pepper spray settlement agreement. Billy is bucking it. This is bad news.

Anonymous said...

What is the current policy suppose to be? I have heard many different things but the most recent is that staff is suppose to wait for the JCO 6's to bring the pepper spray and they are not to attempt a physical restraint.

Anonymous said...

Can someone ask for an Open Records Request decribing all the OC sprays since the court's ruling?

Anonymous said...

let 'em flip their wigs.... Billy Humphrey is more dangerous than anyone I've ever seen.... Pepper Spray has it's place, but dismissing a superintendent who lawfully followed a court order so some jacked-up-steroid-out-of-his-mind- TDCJ-transplant-fool can continue his ill-willed campaign to control by force as opposed to rehabilitation is fundamentally wrong, and hell bent from the beginning. And I hear a bunch of “Bingos” say so… whit, think about it.

Anonymous said...

Can you identify the facilities and the who the statements were made?

For 7:56,

the only legal policy to follow is the one in the GAP.

For 7:11,

there could be more serious crimes than contempt including federal and state criminal offenses, not to mention the personal civil liability if some youth was pepperspraye in violation of policy and a court order.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

I feel terrible for the Assistant Superintendent who was tansferred across the state with less than a weeks notice. I think it is more than a coincidence that this was decided the day after he questioned his boss about one of Billy's directives.

Anonymous said...

10:39 a.m. The friend/judge you are defending is just lucky he left the quaint little town he lived in when he did. If I were you, I'd be afraid of opening up that can of worms! I hear they're not so tasty once they're out of the can!!! I'd leave well enough alone and wish him luck in his new endeavor, what it might be!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ask where Davis was ??? How about on the road back from Austin to that Hell Hole Pyote !! Have you tried to get a signal on that road ?? Its bad if not imposible ... I bet D-Pope never thought about that one ,, Wow She may have made another costly mistake... Lets see how much with that one cost the State of Texas or Should I say Us Tax Payers.
I say lets get some people in there who do not spend money like these fools do !!!

Anonymous said...

Howard,

Thank you for the info. on the Use of Force policy.
I know that pepper spray is still being used in several facilities but I have been unable to obtain the specifics of this use. Many youth (not all) that have reported pepper spray icidents within the past two weeks have indicated it was used by the security staff.

The line staff from various facilities have voiced frustration and confusion which is understandable after all of the recent changes.

I know this is off the subject but I feel the need to tell the TYC employees thank you.
I can't even imagine how exhausted and unappreciated they must feel. I would like the great TYC men and women having to endure the front lines that your hardwork does not go unnoticed. You are unique and caring people that work in an environment that most people couldn't last a day in. You get cussed at, degraded and assaulted on a daily basis and yet you strive forward trying to make a difference in the world. Don't give up because you are needed!

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to get a signal in Pyote, Sheffield or San Saba.

I have heard Dimitria has a bad habit of turning her phone off on nights and weekends so maybe she doesn't know where the signal drop.

If she is firing the Sup. and Ass. Sup. at West Texas for not be aware of the bomb threat shouldn't she also follow under the that same guideline by not being aware of Coke County prior to the Ombudsman's report?

Anonymous said...

Who are you suggesting she should fire then, 9:18? The Ombudsman certainly did give that report to one of Dimitria's *delegates*, and she had in hand shortly after that.

Trust me, the Ombudsman is not part of the TDCJ in-crowd. Haven't you noticed that "one of these things is not like the other" yet?

Anonymous said...

9:18 is suggesting Pope herself should be fired, not Harrell. If Pope is firing others for their neglect of facilities under their care, then she too should be fired as she neglected the situation at Coke County.

Anonymous said...

After last months hearing, DP delegated review of all incidents involving use of OC Spray to the OIG. Last I heard, the Supts were required to provide monthly reports on OC use to CO. I bet there are a few of those out there, or maybe a grievance or abuse investigation. I would hope that none of the agency staff have failed to report a violation of policy and possibly the law. If for no other reason than to avoid the humiliation of a very public termination and/or arrest.

Anonymous said...

10:04 Thank you for clarifying my point. I was in no way implying that the Ombudsman be fired. If anything he should be commended for his hard work. His concern for both youth and staff seems very sincere and his actions have consistently supported this.

Anonymous said...

10:19 You make a valid point but it needs to be heard from ALL levels in the chain of command.

Anonymous said...

Stan D. thank you for fighting the good fight and not giving up. Your people and the youth need you! We know you are exhausted but please hang in there as long as you can. Don't ever doubt that you inspire people and have made an impact on many lives.

Anonymous said...

This mess at West Texas State School smells bad all the way around. I guess its just my 'conspiracy theory' mind-set taking over, but this is just all TOO convenient. And after viewing the hearing archive from today's love fest between Whitmire and Pope, I'm really sick to my stomach. She claims she sat down and visited with three 'kids' and they trusted her because she can relate to them on thier level. Well congratulations Ms Pope - I guess you managed to gain the 'trust' of all three of these youth in the 15 whole minutes you spent on the WTSS campus - that's right folks, actually less than 15 minutes. By golly, she's a miracle worker! Go feed your bulls$%t to someone who will buy it lady - cause we don't.

Anonymous said...

11:26, unfortunately, she did feed it to people who bought it, hook line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

For any of you who watched the hearing today, Whitmire made another comment regarding West Texas and Pyote that, for those of us who know, was actually pretty amusing. He quoted the recent DMNews article featuring Hollis where the illustrious 'Mayor' (and I use that term very loosely) of Pyote, stated that if the WTSS closed, it wouldn't hurt the Pyote community. Well, good for you Mr. Mayor - who last I checked was living in a travel trailer parked somewhere in Pyote and who has only lived in the state of Texas for less than a year. WTSS is not a Pyote facility - it is a Ward County facility, and frankly many of us from Ward County are getting pretty sick and tired of people who don't know jack sh&t about where we live and what we do, talking about it in the newspaper and Senate hearings. The 'dishonorable' Senator(?) Quitmire should stick to what he knows - which is not much - and stay out of our business. Of course, he thinks we're all hicks anyway - although it takes one to know one as the old saying goes.

Anonymous said...

TYC trainers are passing out a chart of the "use of force continuum" and OC spray is before physical restraint on the chart. "Hands on kids is a last resort." "You better be able explain why you laid hands on that kid" meaning not why did you use force but why didn't you use pepper spray. JCO IV's V's and VI's are being trained and carry pepper spray.

Anonymous said...

Howard: regarding the use of spray per Bronco Billy's procedure and current gap: failure to follow GAP puts staff in jeopardy of violating student rights (i.e. Civil lawsuit, if not criminal charges if something goes wrong) vs loss of job due to not following procedure or instruction of superior. Question: does being right provide any viable defense or opening for litigation if fired?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:04,

You must be out of your mind. Stan D. is kissing so much butt that he can't see above DaPope's skirt. He has fought a good fight of saving his own skin, but has done nothing for the TYC staff that were here and have since been put on the road by DaPope. Wake up and realize Stan D. is a big part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you recall a statement made by Jay Kimbrough in regards to a surgical removal of all Supt. and Asst. Supt. that were in place when the WTSS scandal hit the media? Well, this is the removal. Davis and Hollis were just another surgery in the ongoing removal of Supt. and Asst. Supt. that were in place at that time. The rest will be gone soon. A word to those that remain, sleep with your cell phones, don't piss off Pope, and whatever you do, make sure that you regularly stroke the egos of the TDCJ brass that has taken TYC to its lowest level. I was one of the first ones that was removed, and I can tell you first hand that life is so much more peaceful outside of TYC. If you can get out now on your own terms, for the sake of your sanity, do it!!

Anonymous said...

Pepper spray was carried by a staff just yesterday during a problem with a student at my unit. I ask another staff if they knew about the lawsuit and I was told "No". This staff had not heard anything about not using the spray. In the end the student complied and the spray was not used.

Anonymous said...

Grits:
Maybe some of the comments that staff has written on the blog about what is really going on in TYC should be taken to the lege for some of the upcomming meetings so that they can hear what is being said from line staff at those upcomming hearings.
How short staff we still are.
How there is no information coming to the front lines from CO.
How staff feel about the new leaders and the concerns of placing TDCJ staff in every hole that is vacant.
Just a thought to bring our concerns out in the open, other than depending on them to maybe read what is written.

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:12 a.m., you’re an idiot. I don’t what your issue with Stan is but you’re obviously misinformed. You stand there running your mouth about a guy who is standing up in the face of adversity for what’s sure to be some past issue, most likely he put paper on your ass. I don’t think you’ll have too many backing you on this blog regarding your opinion of Stan.

Stan has stood up against the bullshit we are facing. So you can kiss my ass with your slight cheap shots on him.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the pepper spray issue: (seen here)

Were TYC staffers, who are "are authorized and trained to use OC spray in its high restriction facilities," indeed told about the settlement order within 24 hours of its having been signed?

I don't recall any agency-wide email. Maybe they were told verbally? If not, TYC has already violated the order in that respect.

Another interesting point I noticed about the order: It requires that each incident of use-of-OC be recorded and delivered to the plaintiff. If it has indeed been compiled for submission to the plaintiff, then it already exists in a tidy format , probably reachable via an open records request.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this, Bronco Billy hasn't put that court order out to the field. No one knows any thing of it. We're still using it like we were told. If we try to break up a fight, we're being told to use the spray because if we put our hands on them, we get fired. When did this order come about?

Anonymous said...

To those of you talking about Hollis. I have worked with Hollis and he is not afraid of the kids. He was a caseworker on a dorm and he was always on the dorm, not hiding out like some. He spoke to the kids and listened to their concerns. He spoke to parents and listend to theirs. He never showed fear. You have no clue what you are talking about. You are probably one of those he confronted because you were not doing your job and now you have an axe to grind.

If I disagreed with him, I let him know and he was always open and receptive to what I had to say. Many times we agreed to disagree but following policy and procedure was always his main concern, even when he was the trainer. He has no problem admitting when he is wrong.

Here's what you didn't comment on, The one that is now the regional superintendent over our facility. He came from Victory Field with his mentor Harrison, remember, he got the PA's job over other qualified applicants on our campus! He showed up to work daily between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and was gone home by 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. daily to pick up his kids from school/daycare in Odessa. His supervisors just turned their heads the other way. One was afraid of his mentor. enough not to mention it, and the other was too lily-livered to buck him.

When he was made assistant supt and required to live on campus, how often did he stay in housing? Don't fib now, tell the truth! You can count them on your one hand! Policy states he must live on campus. His family never moved to Pyote, wonder why? His mentor the superintendent, made all other key personnel live on campus, but not him!! From day one policy was bent a little for him, wasn't it?

The man is afraid of his own shadow and anything insect that crawls on this earth! He is the one who shouts orders and demands everyone do as he says, but exempts himself from having to follow the rules and policy. He can take time off whenever he wants but not his front line staff. He can take off for his kids school programs or when they are sick but not his front line staff. Did he care that front line staff were working 16/24 hour days, nope. He cared only that he was at home at night with his family! How many times was he contacted that he couldn't be found, that you can't count on your one hand, can you?

He knew about the sexual allegations against Brookins and he chose not to blow the whistle in order to coverup for his mentor. Whom, he constantly touted was the big boss and could anything he wanted!!

Now I ask you this, who is keeping tabs on his time? As he still shows up between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. daily? Yet, he was given his current positon when he had only been a superintedent for less than a month and an assistant less than seven months. What a wicked web they weave Charlotte!! Please rest assured that I don't dislike this man but dislike his treatment of youth and staff and his total disregard of anyone but himself and his family!

When did you ever see him step in and run a dorm shift for a staff that was dead on their feet or needed to leave because of an emergency? When has he stepped in to relieve someone needing to attend a funeral or one of their kid's or grandkids major accomplishements? I won't even say what I count these on!! There are key employees on our campus that have done this and kept quiet about it because they don't need the limelight or neon lights or star on the walk of fame!! This is what earns them the respect of staff. They don't demand it they earn it and give it in return. He fails to realize that he is a state employee and that we are all in this together! He stands only with dPope and as one former superintendent used to say, "what goes around comes around." Be careful what you wish for and who you step on, on the way to the top, because you will meet them again on the way down. It will be a bummer, because we'll be there to greet you but not with open arms!! My best, once again, had enough!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:59,

Tommy, I can't believe you are up this early, or did you just stumble in from the bar to throw a quick line of support for your buddy. There is no doubt in my mind that he has stood up for a few select individuals, probably you 7:59, but how much of his feces did you have to get on your face for him to be such a stand up guy for you? Go take another shot and get ready to crawl back under Stan's desk Monday morning. I am sure he will continue to stab the TYC folks in the back that do their jobs, but don't bow down to him. Nevertheless, Stan will be a former TYC employee soon, just like you will be once Pope gets finished using you to do her dirty work. If Stan had a shred of integrity, he would have stood up for some of the Supt. and Asst. Supt that were given the shaft by Pope, but he didn't, instead he carried out and continues to carry out her plan to a tee.

Anonymous said...

Demetria Pope seems to be running the TYC show from the same playbook Brookins was using at West Texas. Malevolent dictatorships go well for the dictators...for a while. (Check history---most recent Saddam Hussein) I think Bill and Mike will find that Demetria probably did them a favor. She has given the person who called in the bomb threat a lot of bang for his buck. It's possible that the bomb threat person is a disgruntled employee, and Ms. Pope is kindly eliminating all the local targets. It's really not a good idea to get all the anger directed towards her. Jesus told Peter "He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." Her cavalier attitude about the lives of TYC employees will come back to haunt her in a big way I'm afraid. And she can say it's all for the kids, but has just reinforced the behavior of some nutcase putting the kids at West Texas in more danger.

Anonymous said...

And on the subject of the bomb threat - no one at TYC seems real concerned about finding out who did it. Local law enforcement are working on this mystery, but D'Pope doesn't seem to care much. She was more interested in visiting ONE dorm on the entire campus, and that was, as she said during her 'report' to whitmire, "to take myself out of any decision regarding their (Davis and Hollis) employment status" or something to that effect. Just hiding while someone else did the dirty work. I wonder who REALLY called in that bomb threat????? Feels a little 'hinky' (Law and Order buff that I am) to me.

Anonymous said...

to 9:20 - just say it dude - Omoniyi NEVER lived on campus when he was the asst. He left our former DOS in charge at night while he would go home to ODESSA (40 miles away) every night. He thought he was slick the way he would park his cars here and there, but 'the fence has eyes and it sees all'. One of the reasons our DOS left WTSS was because of the stress of covering for Omoniyi all the time - phone calls at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning - just covering for Ayo again. Nothing new there. And as far as his involvment with Brookins and co., just read the Rangers report for yourself. He ignored Hollis, he ignored the other staff, he just chose to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

You know I look at all the new positions being created in Central Office... Central Office has always been top heavy now it is only getting worse. Might be better to call these positions: Person to Blame 1, Person to Blame 2, etc...

Are all these extra positions really necessary... People are needed in the field!

It would also bee nice if people would stop creating "fires" to put out and stick to the real issues. TYC has already been run into the ground now we are just filling in the hole!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of all the newly-created positions in CO...

It would be interesting to take the State Auditor's Report of March ,which displayed all the CO positions and their respective salaries, and cross-compare it to today's top-heavy management.

Anonymous said...

10:35 a.m., you're right, he never lived on campus. You're right that's why the DOS left. So tell me, how did he rate becoming Regional Superintendent? How did he rate being placed in the area so close to his home? Is it Steroid Sponge Bob Square Pants he's telling all to or dPope?? His mentor taught him how to master the snitching aspect really well.

Anonymous said...

11:58,
The answer to your question is yes.

I still have not seen any specifics identifying people who were told or complained about the pepperspraying. Also any incidents that were in violation of the GAP use of force policy. What facility was it where the handout on pepperspray use was given?

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard, this will not be posted or blogged on because of soon to be litigation on those that authorized it.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that Harrison's proteges are still alive and well in TYC. I guess Black is still beautiful if you're a racists black woman in charge of Youth Corrections in Texas. The last time I spoke with Harrison about a job in WTSS, I get the distinct impression that he would rather get a BJ than a competent worker. WHich explains Hernandez, Brookins, and his ex-sister-in-law.

The surgical removal of Davis and Hollis is unfortunate and stupid. When serving as ADO, I received three bomb threats in a six year period. All were just that - threats. And one of them was when Davis was my supervisor. Stan D was my supervisor when I got the other one.

This is all a bunch of bull designed to destroy TYC permanently and forever. Our lege only knows how to destroy, they have no clue as to how to bill. I have heard that Eddie Martinez is back at work in Evins, does anyone know if that is true?

Anonymous said...

Madden says he intends to hold Youth Commission officials accountable.

"That means I'm going to continue asking questions," he said.

Whitmire's reaction?

"I was in the House for 10 years, so I can say this: Someone needs to remind them that they're just House members."

'just House members'? Don't members of the Texas House represent the very same people the Texas Senate represents? This guy is the biggest horse's butt in the state.

Anonymous said...

1:25,

There is no prohibition on blogging about the questions that I asked. There is no legal reason for your statement. There are no court gag orders in effect. The First Amendment has not even been repealed by TYC.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

1:55 p.m. that statement made by Whitmire will cost him many votes should he decide to run for guv. He has angered many people in both rural and urban areas with the mess he has created in TYC, not to mention many past and previous TYC employees. It's obvious the guy doesn't know when to quit. It's really quite funny to watch him paint himself into a corner defending dPope's job!!!

Anonymous said...

Howard,
I don't know if this is what you're talking about, but a memo was forwarded to those WTSS/SBC staff with email on Friday from our 'acting' Supt. regarding pepper spray. The memo initally came from Wade Phillips and to tell you the truth, I couldn't understand what in the hell he was trying to say - you take a look and could you please possibly explain to us lay people what the hell this means????

From: Ayo Omoniyi
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 3:31 PM
To: Gwan Hawthorne; Donald Brooks; Karen Chalkley Lashbrook; Teresa Stroud; Wallace Brown; Deborah Harris; Michael Lukowiak
Cc: Billy Humphrey
Subject: FW: SIR - J. Garcia

Fyi. Please review and ensure compliance.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wade Phillips
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:12 PM
To: Billy Humphrey; Teresa Stroud
Cc: Lynda Smith; Thomas Adamski; Ayo Omoniyi; Mickey Neel; Stan DeGerolami
Subject: RE: SIR - J. Garcia

I think the persons on this email are aware, but just to confirm: The resolution of the OC spray lawsuit was to pull down the executive directive until the revised use of force policy is published for public comment and adopted by the agency. The issue in that lawsuit was procedural, not a complete bar on the use of OC spray altogether. Accordingly, the agency is to follow the Use of Force Rule as it exists.

GAP 97.23(p)(1)(B) is not a complete bar to the use of OC spray in the security units. OC spray may be justified when "it is necessary to prevent the loss of life or serious bodily injury." Obviously, the Rule by its own terms contemplates some discretion that must be exercised here in evaluating whether a given circumstance justifies the use of OC spray when a youth is confined in a room in a security unit or an isolation room.

Let me know if you need further assistance.

wp

NOTE: We did not receive this until Friday. Before that all I knew was what I read in the paper.


"

Anonymous said...

Wonder where the Regional Superintendent sent this email from? He sure as heck wasn't at work on Friday. Oh, I forget, he's got special privileges, he is phase appropriate, right??

Notice he just sent it out with no explanation, on his part, as to what he expects or what we're to be in compliance with? He did what he does best, pass the buck and put the monkey on someone else's back. Those superintendent's better watch out, if they don't do what he thinks they should, the regime may sweep in and fire you too!!

Anonymous said...

The original policy also states:
Unless it is necessary to prevent loss of life or serious bodily injury, OC spray is not authorized for use when:

1. the youth has been identified as having respiratory problems or other health conditions which would make use of OC spray dangerous; or

2. the youth is assigned to a mental health treatment program or identified by a mental health professional as having a psychiatric condition or mental health diagnosis that would contraindicate the use of OC spray until the MHP has been given the opportunity to establish control; or

3. the youth is confined in a room in a security unit or an isolation room.

Now if the criteria is not met it cannot be used. BSH has stated this does not apply and that it vcan be used whenever you deem it appropriate in security. Then this memo comes out today from Wade Phillips. Sounds like more spin prior to the pending litigation

Anonymous said...

How come Wade's e-mail didn't say their dumbass General Counsel should have told them in the first place they needed to get public comment. If any real TYC employee had been that incompetent they'd have been fired months ago. Or as someone said before, real TYC employees would never have hired someone that incompetent.

Anonymous said...

No, Eddie is not back at Evins. We have Viduarri for about 3 days out of a work week (Evins forgets, she counts travel time as work hours, too)and JGonzo the Psycho incharge. JGonzo, the Psycho was Hinojosa's hand picked. JGonzo, the Psycho will be in some training next week. Viduarri will be in Tuesday evening, so that leaves our brand new, just a month old Program Specialist set up, I mean incharge until Viduarri comes in. Gotta love it!

Anonymous said...

Viduarri is acting Superintendent at Evins.

JGonzo, the psycho is Asst. Super. will be in huntsville or austin?

One month program specialist is the ADO until Viduarri returns.

just thought i mentioned this since let out from the previous comment.

Anonymous said...

mr. "d" sucks as bad as all the TDCJers. What people really don't know is that he is as big a venom filled snake as da pope. If it were not for the time periods surroubnding lunch and dinner for a drink and a smoke, then he'd crap out as well.

The term "JGonzo the Psycho" is funny. He does not have a clue, is noticebly absent around campus and cannot be counted on to make a decision that is well thought out. Talk about not answering his pager or phone, we cannot count on him to respond to us when needed, but you can count on him being in Mex or at falcon lake fishing with a drink in hand.

Anonymous said...

How many times do we non-tyc bloggers have to tell you before you get it? You're playing right in the hands of tdcj by turning on each other. Rag on your occupying force, not your co-workers!

Anonymous said...

6:08,

Thanks that is what I am talking about. It is just the sort of weasel answer that I would expect from Wade. I doubt that he has any idea as to the meaning of "the loss of life or serious bodily injury" and really gives no more guidance than anyone reading the GAP could give at a substantially less salary from TYC.

No one has ever said the lawsuit prevents the use of pepperspray either in or out of security. It just requires TYC to follow the GAP policy and to not go beyond it. Security still has to meet "the the loss of life or serious bodily injury" standard and not just pepperspray anyone because they want to or are in security, or are ordered by an administrator to violate the GAP.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:36,

I agree with you! To all the TYC staff that do a great job, I pray for you all each and every day. But, to the TYC staff (i.e SD, TB, JW, AW, LB, GW, etc.)that have turned and bowed down to the dark side of the force, you are worse than the leaders of the dark side. Your day is coming. You will have to answer for your actions.
(Disclaimer: Reference to the "dark side" is simply a reference to a term used in the movie Star Wars to describe a person that is for or supports wrong, and has nothing to do with one's race.)

Anonymous said...

Forgot AC, JB, MJ and OU812

Anonymous said...

11:59 and 12:28, see 10:36.

Anonymous said...

Yep, The dark side took over at TYC.

What's happening with F. Novy, the KnoW-nothing over Casework and Treatment, or has he been put out to pasture with his mentor Nance?

Anonymous said...

4:15, see 10:36. Besides, even if he knows nothing, he'd be better than a TDCJ crony.

Anonymous said...

I counted 10 people that he's ragging on. Now he included some Forrest guy. I bet all eleven of those folks don't think too highly of this guy.

Dark side? That sounds racist. And that's what you all at TYC have to deal with?

Employees like that ought to go. I can sit in the stands and tell you this dip shit doesn't get it. Good luck TYC when you have morons like that on board.

Anonymous said...

And by the way, what does this Forrest guy do? He keeps getting mentioned on this blog. Is he some psychologist or something?

Anonymous said...

He's the one leading the treatment side of the equation and he's just a tad bit over his head. Nice guy but not the one needed for the job.

Anonymous said...

They are hiring a director for rehabilitation and clinical support

Anonymous said...

9:13, as in an appointed TDCJ crony, or they actually posting a job to try to get someone qualified?

Anonymous said...

If you have a legitimate complaint call Maddens office prior to the hearing next Tuesday. Any use of force, OC, any unethical treatment needs to be reported.

If we continue to remain quiet they will win. They are not juvenile justice experts, nor would they take the time to read or listen to anyone that would or could steer them in the right direction. Anyone that refers to themselves in the third person while speaking is a sad commentary of what leadership TYC currently has in place.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:57 Forest is the director of rehab services - I suppose, if that's what you want to call him and the division. His other left foot is david wolenta who knows little to nothing about anything and depends heavily on others to do his work. Between the two of them, rehab will never re-surface since all either one of them can say is 'where's the research'. They are both so far up managements a##, I don't know how they breath.

Hopefully this director of rehab and clinical support can provide some real direction. Wonder who will conduct interviews since neither forest or wolenta know a thing about psychology or clinical services.

Anonymous said...

David Walenta is a certified sex offender treatment provider, so he must know something about psychology. Are you talking about the Director of Specialized Treatment, which is actually posted?

Anonymous said...

I have wondered about Whitmire for a while now. Especially after the incident in the bar and the bar tender refused to serve him any more alcohol due to him being intoxicated. He hollored at the bar tender and asked if he did not know who he was.

Just who does he think he is? He is a lawyer and an elected person to an office and his salary for this office comes from our tax money. If he thinks that much of himself to down grade someone like Representative Madden, then begone with him!!! Rep. Madden is honest and caring and cares what happens to loved ones who are unfortunate enough to get caught in the tangled web of injustice that exists in Texas.

Anonymous said...

((They are hiring a director for rehabilitation and clinical support))

I wonder if this person for rehabilitation will have a license??

F.NOVY is not licensed to practice, he just has initials after his name, and he is running the treatment side of this??

He does the same as POPE, calls a meeting and tells the one's that do know to make a decision but make it look like my idea please.....

Anonymous said...

For 10/12/2007 07:52:00 AM Although I never worked for Hollis and therefore am not referring to him, I note you said "Both are good men who try to live within the rules and laws set down" when referring to the reported termination of Hollis and Davis. You should understand that few people see every side of a person unless they have known him for a long time. I can assure you there are current and former TYC employees who knew this day was coming eventually, because of what they experienced working for/with Mr. Davis. You are probably not aware of multiple incidents of staff ending up with the short end of the stick over the last 5 years when working for this man. Those of us who lived through it and saw others go through the same would say it is one of the following two clich├ęs; live by the sword and die by the sword, or his chickens finally came home to roost.

For 10/12/2007 07:59:00 AM and 10/12/2007 09:18:00 PM who said "It is impossible to get a signal in Pyote, Sheffield or San Saba" Were you aware San Saba STAR Team members carried pagers that worked in their area? Do Superintendents lack specially encoded DNA carried only by JCOs that enables electronic devices to work only for staff at the bottom of the pay grade? Also, no cell coverage means you receive a notice of voicemail when you are back in coverage range. A responsible person immediately returns the call. While Mr. Davis was the Superintendent at San Saba the staff were told if they did not answer their phones or return messages left by unit representatives then staff would face disciplinary action. Is there a different standard for admin than there is for JCOs?

For 10/12/2007 04:48:00 PM who said "I guess the Administration in Austin made their minds (used loosely) up to fire without due process. Just amazing, quality leadership." This is exactly what kind of 'quality leadership' too many line staff received from facility level administrators (like superintendents) in the past. Once again, those sounds you hear are the chickens flying in to roost.

At http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-tycsider2_12pro.ART.State.Edition2.4360523.html it is reported that "Mr. Hollis said late Thursday that he was too upset to comment about his removal. "I just need a couple of days to calm down," he said." I find this particularly ironic since JCOs are expected to maintain their composure (including the ability to speak professionally) in the face of physical threats to themselves or their families, being showered with urine and feces, being called racial slurs, etc. A JCO is expected to deal with anything a group of juvenile delinquents can do and maintain composure, but an Asst Superintendent has so little self-control he needs a couple of days to "calm down" before he can hold a conversation? Give me a break, Billy! It isn't like you just got shanked in a cell extraction because the Superintendent authorized to use OC spray refused to walk down the hall from her office to Security!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a disgruntled ex-TYC, ex-marine, who most likely is living off the State (welfare).

It seems funny how if any administrator was/is as bad as you state they could stay employed. Please wait and read the next headline that will soon come out and we will see who comes home to roost (apparently your propensity for chickens explains the type of person you are).

Anonymous said...

Whether or not these men are good or bad isn't the issue. The issue is that they were fired for a stupid reason, and it's effecting the chances of WTSS staying open. Good people are going to lose their jobs because of the arbitrary decisions made by lunatics.

Anonymous said...

6:34 pm - Perhaps you can give Davis and Hollis some pointers on living on welfare. If what you say is true, they'll need advice from an experienced leech with no pride, ethics or integrity.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone find it odd that TYC is making no real effort to find out who placed the bomb threat call to WTSS? ATT will provide information to a LE agency, with a subpoena. Aren't our OIG investigators licensed peace officers? Maybe the Pope, Humphrey and Omoniyi already know who placed the call. Pope told the Senate Committee on Corrections that she had nothing to do with the recommendation to terminate the two administrators at Pyote. If this was true, why did Jim Hurley, in a statement to the Odessa American (also on 10/12/07) say that Pope recommended the terminations? And last but not least, if neither man has not been "officially" fired yet, how could the Assistant Superintendent job at Pyote be posted on 10/12/07, when it isn't empty yet? What about that pesky little process known as due process? Does the Pope have the power to thumb her nose at civil rights? Mr. Rogers says, "Can you say "This whole thing seems to have been planned in advance"? Usually you wait until person is dead before you throw them into the grave. Are we better off that we were under the previous administration? Hell no!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For 10/15/2007 07:07:00 PM and 10/15/2007 10:08:00 PM-I must really have hit a nerve to receive name calling attacks focused on my personal life in return for a post devoid of personal smear tactics on my part! Halfway decent job trying to switch the focus, you are maintaining proficiency in your use of thinking errors. "A" for effort trying to avoid the facts. The only semi-valid point you raise is that on the surface "It seems funny how if any administrator was/is as bad as you state they could stay employed". People all over the state are wondering the same thing about how TYC kept employing many administrators from several schools after the full truth about their past actions finally came to light. Historically, continued employment with TYC as an administrator has never been based on ethical job performance and in fact, incompetance was sometimes rewarded by promotion.

To address the personal attacks/irrelevant accusations you put forth trying to make me cower in fear and shame, unable to even look at a computer without trembling in anxiety about what terrible (and erroneous) behavior you will accuse me of next--
You should put more work into your research next time. I am not "disgruntled", I am finally acceptingly realistic and outspoken now about how easily and far people in positions of power will go to stab others in the back if it means they can save face, avoid being held accountable and progress up the company ladder. I learned that lesson the hard way and will not forget it.

Ex-TYC? I am not aware that would be considered a negative. Many people have become such in the last year, and there will surely be more in the future. Read the blogs, some of them are throwing celebration parties because of it.

Ex-Marine? Incorrect. Still alive and Honorably Discharged, but puzzled as to why that would be a negative either, unless that intimidates you in some way.

On Welfare? Incorrect again, so I can't dispense advice about how it works. I don't know Mr. Hollis, but am sure with his experience he would have no problem finding a good job, probably less stressful than TYC. I do feel strongly that you don't need to worry about job prospects for Mr. Davis either. I'm sure he will still be looking out for Number 1.

10/15/2007 09:04:00 PM said "Whether or not these men are good or bad isn't the issue. The issue is that they were fired for a stupid reason, and it's effecting the chances of WTSS staying open. Good people are going to lose their jobs because of the arbitrary decisions made by lunatics." This has been going on for a long time before these two reported terminations, it is not a new phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

People dying isn't a new phenomenon, either, but I'm sure you aren't welcoming the prospect and would complain about it becoming imminent. Are you saying that since it's happened in the past we should accept it now without complaint. I don't think the calvary is coming, and I believe Pope will stay around as long as she can to get as big a chunk of the pie she can get before moving onto her next project. My only relief is to vent here. Sounds like those other posts know who you are, which I find impressive. Maybe they can guess who the person was that called in the bomb threat.

Anonymous said...

10/16/2007 05:41:00 AM You are projecting. The observation that the method of termination historically used by TYC was still in practice was just that; an observation. Now (for some reason) all of a sudden people are getting all shocked and shaken when it still happens. Or maybe I misunderstood, was the comment about whether or not I would welcome imminent death a threat of some sort?

You said "and I believe Pope will stay around as long as she can to get as big a chunk of the pie she can get before moving onto her next project." You get no argument from me- I probably have a worse opinion about Ms. Pope than you do. You also say "My only relief is to vent here." Don't have a problem with that either, as long as when you vent towards me it is based on personal experience or something with a grain of fact. Better you vent here than at work.

As for your not so subtle insinuation about who may or may not have called in a bomb threat, if you honestly think that may be true contact the Rangers or the Feds and have them contact me through Grits. They will need no court order or warrant for documentation on all phones I have access to. However, guessing probably isn’t involved, since I believe that call may fall under the jurisdiction of the feds- you might check with law enforcement; they may already know who it was and are just keeping a closed investigation. You could try calling whoever the local law enforcement is out there and put in a FOIA Request. That should tell you where the call came from.

You would probably be able to tell who I am from my posts too, if you had been one of the administrators who left me twisting in the wind to make yourself look good.
If you could tell yourself 'That person was just a bad employee' then you could probably forget what you did, but when you know you left someone twisting who had not done anything wrong or was in violation of any policy the chances are you would remember doing it too.

Anonymous said...

o

Anonymous said...

Read in the local paper today that Ward County Sheriff had to subpoena AT&T for the phone regarding relating to the WTSS bomb threat...evidently no one in TYC is very concerned about who placed the call...but it looks like the Sheriff wants to see what he can find out...thanks Mike! At least someone cares about the actual crime that took place and is sticking with the investigation instead of acting like its all over with the terminations of Davis and Hollis.

Anonymous said...

Read in the local paper today that Ward County Sheriff had to subpoena AT&T for the phone records relating to the WTSS bomb threat...evidently no one in TYC is very concerned about who placed the call...but it looks like the Sheriff wants to see what he can find out...thanks Mike! At least someone cares about the actual crime that took place and is sticking with the investigation instead of acting like its all over with the terminations of Davis and Hollis.

Anonymous said...

Its too bad about Mike, he is a good guy that cares about the Agency. Getting out of TYC will probably do him some good. Best of luck to you Mike. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

If Pope and her staff did not immediately request an investigation into the source of the bomb threat call, then thry were negligent in their responsibilities. Everyone knows you evacuate buildings in response to that kind of call. It could have been a practice run for inmate unrest during a time and place the staff were most vulnerable to being physically overwhelmed by inmates.