Friday, October 17, 2008

TYC conservator gone but controversies remain

Several recent Texas Youth Commision-related stories deserve Grits readers attention:

For starters, see the governor's press release and the official proclamation ending TYC's conservatorship. See also a promising initial letter to employees by the new Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend.

TYC's original conservator from 2007, Jay Kimbrough, has left his post at Texas A&M to take a slot as Rick Perry's Chief of Staff, meaning he'll continue to have a big say over the agency's future even with the conservatorship ended.

Meanwhile, the newly leased Eagle Lake facility in Colorado County has yet to open, the Austin Statesman reports, but TYC is taking heat for paying a Florida company $22,500 per day for the space. The agency pas paid the company more than $1.26 million since July. Apparently "Youth Commission officials agreed to pay for empty beds to cover the startup costs of the company." Reported the Statesman's Mike Ward:

Attributing recent delays in filling the lockup to inspection issues, Townsend said 18 youths will be transferred to the Eagle Lake site today. Plans call for it to house more than 100 youths in the future, she said.

Under the terms of the contract, the Youth Commission agreed to lease up to 132 beds for $189.50 per youth per day, guaranteeing they would pay for 119 beds starting on the date the contract was signed. Over a span of three months, that totals more than $2 million, but records indicated that the state had paid the company only about $1.26 million as of Thursday.

In 2006, the Youth Commission spent $128.66 to $162.88 a day for each youth in its care, according to the agency's Web site.

"Starting upon execution of the contract, payment will be made at the minimum guaranteed amount until 119 beds capacity is reached at which time payment will be made upon the actual capacity," the contract states.

"Guaranteed minimum" contracts — in which state agencies agreed to pay for a minimum number of beds or a level of service, whether it was used or not — were highly controversial two decades ago, when most agencies stopped doing it. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice prohibits the practice, officials there said.

"We only pay for filled beds," said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the prison agency.

The Youth Commission's contract gives the company 90 days to get the lockup ready for operation. During that "startup" period of hiring and training staff, the contract has several pages covering many other activities, including recruiting staff and arranging trash service.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

The great conservator leaves and this story appears; my goodness!

Did I understand what we may receive on our$1,260,000.00 investment just involving ONE accomplishment,to date?
Eight offenders MAY occupy the facility in a few days? And the new ED of TYC comments that she is looking at a contract modification (now that the original contract has hit the news). Please!

What did the conservatorship accomplish (for the good of the agency)? (insert large blank space here)

More paper-pushers hired; higher salaries in place for some of the paper-pushers (AKA: administrators); More empty beds; shortage of unit staff (the real workers of the agency); the total failure to have any viable treatment program operational to rehabilitate any offender. Ahh Yes; money well spent!

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

This appears to be just one of the many problems Cherie Townsend has inherited. It is a shame we have had far too many people tinkering with the agency since the departure of Dwight Harris. Jay Kimbrough, Ed Owens, Dimitria Pope, John Whitmire, and Richard Nedelkoff all contributed to the current state of the Texas Youth Commission.

Anonymous said...

The problem with politics is that they are always reactive. They come up with solutions, before they really understand the problem. But if they take the time to understand the problem they are wasting money. Kimbrough did the most damage trying to fix what wasn't broke. His firing of all the felons was not only counterproductive, but ultimately a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now he's getting a promotion?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't someone be arrested for blowing this huge amount of the tax payers dollars? Shouldn't Nedelkoff be brought before a grand jury for misappropriations of state money? Was this just an inside job to funnel money into Nedelkoff's private Florida company? Why isn't anyone having to answer for these screwups? Let Joe JCO smack a kid that he is trying to control before the kid beats the hell out of him, and Joe JCO is out of a job, standing before a grand jury having to explain his actions, and in the unemployment line. On the other hand, Kimbrough, Pope, Owens, and Nedelkoff can ride in like gangsters, rob the tax payers, violate TYC policy, rewrite TYC policy to fit their agenda so they can hire their cronies, and ride off without having to answer one single question. What a f'ed up State of Affairs. All the more reason that we need to replace Gov. Perry come 2010, hell, I now wish I'd have voted for Kinky.

Signed Anybody but Perry in 2010!!!

Anonymous said...

The reason the Agency was placed under Conservatorship was for the mishandling of funds. With the latest news about the mishandling of state funds, one day after the Governor removes TYC from Conservatorship, is a big slap in the face of the Governor. Will the Agency be back under Conservatorship since all this is still going on?

Anonymous said...

What is Youth Services International's connections with Ekard Youth Alternatives (where Nedelkoff came from). Both are out of Florida, but I bet if you dig deeper, there is more of a connection than geographical. Where will Nedelkoff go to work after TYC? Does one of his relatives or good buddies run YSI? I was always told that working in this field, I would never get rich. Too bad the same rules don't apply to everyone.

Anonymous said...

If TYC has more bed capacity than it has youth committed to its care, this is an expenditure that can not be justified. In the past all TYC bed contracts could be cancelled on 30 days notice. That option should be exercised in the case of this contract. If that cancellation provision was not in the contract, the TYC attorney who signed off on it needs to find a new line of work.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard,

Was this illegal to do? Pay all that money when there were no kids? Legal to pay a private vendors start up cost?

Anonymous said...

It is all about big money when you talk about TYC operation. The majority of the BS in the Texas legislature and by the governor was over blown to justify gutting TYC so the tax payers can shell out millions. The problems could have been addressed by prosecuting the guilty instead of screwing many innocent people out of a job. No convictions to date! Covering up child molestation could only be done by people of like mind. The only question I have is how far up the line it goes. Jay Kimbrough is a “want to be Vietnam Hero” who has a stellar record of destroying everything he has been put in charge of for a few headlines. I am glad he is out of TAMU because he gave our university a bad name by being there. After he screwed the pouch on two occasions, alumni and administration had enough of him at TAMU! Get ready for the real screwing of the tax payers is coming in 2009. All of Perry’s supporters will be ready for their slice of the TYC money pie in 2009.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kimbrough did a lot of good even though most of the posters will not mention this. Did he over-react some, maybe, but most of his vision for the agency was based upon having to make quick decisions. The problem with most people is they would never make a good leader based upon the fear of making a mistake, this is not the case for him. I will not agree with all of his decisions but at least he has the balls to make one, unlike some other conservators or leaders we had in this agency.

I'm sure this post will piss off a lot of you but it's true.

Anonymous said...

9pm

You are correct. Kimbrough had to come in hard and shake up a static, stale agency. The initial phase of agency reform is never a pleasant or pretty task, but it's necessary and common under those circumstances. It takes guts and that is why I respect the man although I certainly don't often agree with him.

Anonymous said...

It is no secret that Kimbrough reads and will post comments on Grits. Wouldn't surprise me if he is 9pm and 10:39. If Jay would have made similar decisions in Vietnam like he made in TYC, his own men would have killed him...

The Governor has signed him on as Chief of Staff so he can finish hiding the rest of the skeletons in Perry's Office, and hopefully make a run at re-election. Bad choice, no matter what dipstick you bring in to hide all your crap, Kaye Bailey is gonna spank that ass come 2010, and many of us at TYC will be behind her all the way. Jay can't fix what you allowed him to break. I am sure there will be a cushy job waiting for both of you in Aggieland. I just hope it is at the Mc Donalds across from the Campus.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 10:13 is a North Vietnamese singing Kimbrough's praises? Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Hey Grits, why did you remove 10:13?

Anonymous said...

9:00 p.m. said, "Mr. Kimbrough did a lot of good even though most of the posters will not mention this." I'm listening. Tell me what he did that was good. All I know is that he spent a lot of taxpayers money with fingerprinting, stupid yellow vests, and getting rid of people with mistakes in their past. None of those things would have prevented the events of the past that have become newsworthy.

Personally, I'm tired of leaders with balls. How about some with brains?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time we disband CO instead of closing facilities and let each facility run itself based on each individual facility needs as far as money goes. Hire one or two people to oversee the spending of those facilities. Now that would save a ton of high dollar salaries and tax payer monies.
What has CO ever really done for individual facilities? Well they have dreamed up ideas that never work or never implemented. Change the rules 20 times a day. You can not run something that you don't know how it really works in the real world. That has always been the problem. Put in a over seer and make them visible on campus. Go back to Common sense instead of best practices! Just a thought from the field hands.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"why did you remove 10:13?"

I'm not sure which one that was, but I removed two comments on this post. One complained off-topic by name about middle managers not named in or relevant to the post, and the other griped about Grits' comment policies.

All complaints about comment policies should be emailed to me directly. They're not up for debate and divert attention from the topics at hand.

Anonymous said...

6:30,

Depending on the circumstances of its letting, the contract is probably not illegal, but it is without a doubt- STUPID. It ranks up there with the $500 Tiffany paperwight.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Gov. Perry has a bad case of de'javous. When all of the West Tx. scandal originally broke, he said he was not in the loop about what was going on. Mr. Royal admitted to not informing the Gov. in a timely fashion (although there was some debate about certain emails indicating otherwise). Consequently, he puts Mr. Royal into TYC as the COO. This made sense since it was Mr. Royal who had been over the TYC for the Governor's Office before the scandal. Mr. Royal already knew a lot about TYC and it may have been a way of vindicating Mr. Royal from any critisism about his previous failure to notify the Gov. about the going's on at TYC before the events that led up to the investigation of the scandal.

Now, with Mr. Royal embedded in the agency as the COO while Mr. Nedelkoff is working as the Conservator, the Gov. comes back again to say he was not aware of the contract that has caused the uproar.

My question is, how could this be? Certainly Mr. Royal would not knowingly allow anything else to be done that would embarrass the Gov. again by forcing him to say he was a Chief Executive who was out of the loop.

Mr. Nedelkoff seems far too, intelligent, sensitive and ethical to embarass himself or the Gov. with a shady business practice knowing that he had the eyes of the legislature, the media and Mr. Royal looking at all his moves. This would be especially true on this particular issue, since the whole question of Mr. Nedelkoff's previous employment contacts and his influence had been raised early in his conservatorship.

Sadly, Sen. Whitmire has another shotgun shell at his disposal for the TYC target, which is now on Mrs. Townsend's back.

Hopefully, there will not be anything to show that this was a business deal constructed to benefit anyone personally.

I doubt that there will be any type of fruitfull investigation into this, but irregardless, the water is getting harder and harder to drink from the TYC well!

Anonymous said...

E-mails were released to the public through the DMN, which showed the governor's office was advised of abuses in TYC back in 2003/2004. The governor's office chose to ignore these chances to stop the corruption and abuses before the big scandal! Randy Chance, who released "Raped by The State", advised the governor's office, the TYC Board and Attorney General's office about serious violations in 2003 and 2004. Senator Chris Harris asked the TYC board about the book during the lege session, and some admitted to being familiar with the book. Why wasn't this all brought out earlier and something done?? The cover-up continues to this day,so top lege folks can be re-elected and escape responsibility.

Anonymous said...

225...I concur with your comments. If the leadership of our lawmakers pushed to punish the TYC ex-leadership that covered-up the sex scandal and other corruption, then their own faults in the disaster may become public. Who knew what and when about the whole affair needs to be brought out so the public will know the entire truth. Many in the lege are afraid to let the full truth be known.

Anonymous said...

Jesus - would you quit trying to promote your book and please quit talking to yourself on this blog? I'm not going to call you out by your name, but it's rather obvious. Look at you posting times.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to get a refund on a book you never bought just for wasting our time?

Anonymous said...

Do we detect a wee bit of hostility here? Folks who can't control their anger should not work for youth agencies; too many kids get hurt. I understand the book has suggestions about anger control. Both of you should check it out. Are you anti-social,or simply project yourselves as such, when your self importance is questioned? Believe it or not, you're not the only ones that people wish to hear about! Did your parents not show enough attention when you were younger? Get a life.

Anonymous said...

If we all could stop responding to this trolls negative comments they would go away.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the discussion in and about our agency has become so saturated with political agendas, both internally and externally, that the discussion about our youth seems to get drowned out by what is politically expedient.

TYC has no shortage of critics, and certainly there has been need for change. The staff have worked hard to do what is necessary and take pride in knowing that at the other end of their efforts is a youth who is going to be better for it.

We are not motivated by money, and the demands on an agency in reform extend beyond the workplace. This has impacted our personal lives--our families, our friends, as well as our health.

However, we continue because we believe, beyond all of the political rhetoric and media headlines, we must be champions for the kids. We are not doing this for Whitmire or Madden or anyone else. While it would be refreshing for legislative leadership to highlight what we're doing well, it is not anything we expect--it would be contrary to the agenda or headline du jour.

Anyone can tear something apart; it takes people with dedication, creativity, positive thinking, teamwork, and determination to build something worthwhile.

Those of us who are builders rather than demolitionists know that it takes time to build. Many of us feel the pressure to produce quick change. I'll take lasting and effective change over quick change any day of the week.

With Ms. Townsend's arrival, the staff are met with yet another transition. As with other transitions, we wait to see what the next hurdles will be like and who will remain on our team.

Whatever challenges are placed before us, we will tackle them as we do best--as a team. Not for Whitmire, Madden, or the media. Leaders and headlines will come and go. What will be lasting is that which we can do for the kids--their futures are our standard of measurement.

Anonymous said...

Every time there is a new leader appointed to run TYC everyone thinks it will all be all better. Get a grip on reality folks, how many times do you have to go down this dead end road? The state level politicians only care of how much juice they can squeeze out of the deal be it political or dollars. I also agree the tax payers have a right to know who knew what and when. It seems all of the TYC disaster could have been avoided had Rick Perry or his people done their job in 2003 - 2004. Why would Rick Perry want to cover up or ignore child sexual predators? It becomes clear no one has been brought to justice for the serious crimes committed against youth in state custody. If Jay Kimbrough was such great man for the job why did he fire innocent people and let the guilty go unharmed. If Jay Kimbrough was such a strong leader why did he move on before the job was done? Jay Kimbrough was either a coward or a political operative for Perry. Most likely he was both! Kimbrough didn't last too long at A&M in his big pay off job. I want some answers since it was taxpayer money wasted on all of the insanity.

Anonymous said...

Do you think they can undo the naming of the street after Kimbrough in College Station?

I understand the need for a conservator type to come in and make unlikable changes. But any upper management person knows you have to keep at least some of your upper middle management in order to keep operations running until permanent leadership can take over. We had 4 people in charge and only one of them had any relevant experience to speak of but by the time he got there everything had been completely screwed up by Kimbrough/Owens/Pope/Bronco Billy that there really wasn't much he could do but try to make legislators happy. Unfortunately when he did what they wanted they then realized how unrealistic their ideas were and then blamed a "resistant agency" for having difficulty implementing senseless reforms. Then you have Harrell running around like a damn idiot, writing poorly written and researched reports, fanning flames. This is so discouraging...Looking forward to next October when we will have a sense of what the hell is going to happen.

I am also curious what justifies the exorbitant daily bed rate at eagle lake? what services do they provide to justify such a high daily bed rate. That is really, really high?

diogenes said...

Didn't TYC close it's contract with Eagle Lake about 3.5 years ago because of problems?

Anonymous said...

Numerous sexual and abuse claims and the inability to hire an retain staff at contract labor. I wish some of the YRS would chime in on this topic who actually did investigations back when this facility was open to give us a better picture.

Anonymous said...

Here's my prediction. Whoever's names are on those contracts with these "guarantees" will be guaranteed on the street. You should have said no to the contracted conservator. And if you didn't feel like you could, you should have documented your disagreement and be prepared to show it. Otherwise, heads will roll. I recall the last time John Whitmire said this... and well, they did. Hell. Old TYC would have NEVER did what these people did. Can you hear Don McCullough if he were still around?

Anonymous said...

808 - You are correct. Many would like to know which politicians were aware of abuses and mismanagement, yet refused to act several years ago. Another many, who do know the details are afraid to rock the boat, or take any heat for bringing up the subject. Many others were involved and simply want it all to just 'go away'. Some of the bloggers here fit that category.
Just as the mess now with the waste of public funds over the Eagle Lake, some of those same people will hide and hope it all goes away. They just blog along and wonder why it keeps happening? They gripe but never get involved in a solution.

Anonymous said...

7pm - "Old TYC would have NEVER did what these people did."

Might I ask...where is "Old TYC"? Oh that's right, old TYC is the reason why "New TYC" is here. I could say that "New TYC" would have never condoned sexual abuse by ignoring it.

Everyone knows that this agency is under so much scrutiny by the legislators. So why would anyone think that a contract this large wouldn't have to be been approved by anyone outside of TYC? With Royal (the Gov's eyes)
acting as Chief of Staff, do you really believe that the Gov knew nothing about this contract.

With Whitmire and Madden watching the budget so closely, do you really think that the Conservator was savvy enough to sneak a contract worth approximately $9 million/year past them without any questions being asked? In August, articles were written about TYC's high CO salaries and mismanagement of funds. At that time, if the legislators and Gov didn't stop and review every item in TYC's budget (which would have included this contract and at least one payment)---their heads should roll!!! I think they knew about it, approved it, and are now putting it all on the Conservator since he's gone.

Anonymous said...

Very well put Mr. Nedelkoff. psst- can i have a loan?

Anonymous said...

If you buy that argument that all old TYC staff condoned sexual abuse, then you are absolutely full of shit. I'm old TYC and still there, and never condoned it then nor now. I can't help the FACT that we had a few idiots that dropped the ball - but they don't represent us all.

"With Whitmire and Madden watching the budget so closely, do you really think that the Conservator was savvy enough to sneak a contract worth approximately $9 million/year past them without any questions being asked?" Well Whitmire sure seemed surprised. But just for the benefit of the doubt, let's say he did, and did a good job of acting surprised right along with all the tax payers.

But that was only Eagle Lake.

What about these other 6-7 contracts with these alleged "guarantees" on paying for beds that are not filled? Are you going to deny that happened? Did it? Did everyone outside of TYC know about that too?

Huh. We got placed under conservatorship for gross fiscal mismanagement. And during conservatorship, well, what happened? Is that the REAL gross fiscal mismangement that gets agencies in Texas under a conservatorship? Paying out your friends big salaries and taking care of the private contract care friends? Someone asked earlier about the Flordia based contract care YSI that TYC cancelled it's contract with before. Just go look why we did this back then. They also ran Eagle Lake. Just go look. File it under open records. And now they're back, decided by "New TYC."

So there you have it "New" TYC. I honestly hated being under conservatorship, but it's so clear now that maybe we should've remained in it while "New TYC" got off it's training wheels.

I just thank God Cheri came back.

Anonymous said...

"What about these other 6-7 contracts with these alleged "guarantees" on paying for beds that are not filled? Are you going to deny that happened? Did it? Did everyone outside of TYC know about that too?"

Do you actually believe that those 6-7 contracts weren't listed in the budget? The Attys didn't have to sign off on those contracts? No one but TYC decides when large contracts are approved? Get real!

Let's be real Old TYC!!!! If you all were so great, why were you passed over for those CO positions that lead the agency? Maybe, if you all hadn't screwed up so bad in the past, you'd all be the CO leaders.

If TYC was so great back then, why did Cherie leave in the first place? And furthermore, what took so long for her to come back.

Training wheels huh? TYC is a mess because of you old timers. How can you defend yourself without excepting the blame. 20 yrs of TYC experience is obviously equal to 1 year of probationary experience served 20 times. Old TYC blames everyone else for the problems but maybe if they would retire already, TYC can finally improve by reducing all of the dead weight. Hopefully Cherie will get tired of all of your whining and send you out to the pasture .

Anonymous said...

We shall see in the coming days my friend, we shall see.

Get your popcorn ready. You can't hide your recent decisions behind old TYC now, and blame them. That's all on you guys now. So man up my friend. There aint no whinning here - just calling it as it is. But we shall see...

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's time for Howard Hickman on those contract debates.

I don't think anyone in "old tyc" were involved in those contracts now because they sure didn't seek input from the quality assurance personnel in the field. Did they really do that? Did they really agree to pay for beds in contract care that are not filled at other places besides Eagle Lake? If that's true, this is huge because we have open beds in existing facilities.

To whoever wrote that 20 years experience in tyc is worth 20 years of probation in this agency, you must be from out of this state. You don't know better. We had a bad leader for two years. Before that, we led this nation in juvenile justice while CRIPPA reports covered your asses. So i agree with my vet collegue, if you guys f'ed this up, its on you.

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:47 - that's called "accepting" blame. Accepting with an A.

Not "excepting."

We "accept" our mistakes. Does that help?

I know there were issues in Georgia and Maryland with equality in education. Were you called "Games" there until you got it right in Texas - James?

Anonymous said...

Bunch of damned buzzards......you all should be fired.....blame one another and follow the ill leader. FIRE all of you!!! Public servants? Public rip-offs.

DONE...You're all FIRED!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ole Whitmire is reaping what he sowed...Threats

Check out the death row cell phone issue.

diogenes said...

This just in from the new Executive Director:

"Dear TYC Staff:

I want to let you know about a major initiative taking place at my direction. We are currently designing a system for the regional delivery of services within TYC that is based both on accountability and on the evidence-based treatment models that work with TYC youth. This plan will be done by December 1, 2008. The information that will be considered in this design includes: current population (minimum periods of confinement, risk levels, specialized treatment needs, and location of family resources); workforce availability; capacity within both TYC and contract facilities; and the resources provided by the legislature to this agency.

As you are all aware, the number of youth in TYC and contract facilities is significantly less today than it was one year ago. That means as we develop the TYC regional capacity plan, we will have to make some very tough decisions to align our resources with the current demand for services. Basically we are "right-sizing" our operations.

The first step in aligning our resources with current demand is a reorganization of the Central Office. This will be announced no later than November 7, 2008. In anticipation of that announcement, two weeks ago I placed a freeze on new vacancy postings in Central Office. Employment offers for any existing vacancy posting are being individually reviewed and approved to ensure that we do not bring on new employees to vacancies that may be needed for an existing employee as part of the reorganization.

I believe it is time to do the same thing for all vacancies. Therefore, I am placing a freeze on all non-JCO hiring agency-wide until we have completed our regional plan. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis where there are requirements for special skills. These exceptions will require my approval. We will also be reviewing all JCO new hires to ensure that we are making responsible hiring decisions based on the population of a facility as well as on youth and staff safety requirements.

I understand that there is uncertainty and even fear associated with these changes. But, I want you to hear from me what we are doing, why we are doing it, and when you can expect decisions. I don't want rumors to be the only information you have. We are going to have to make some tough decisions to ensure that we have a balanced budget and to demonstrate that we are good stewards of public resources.

As we go through this process, I will count on all of you to stay focused on the responsibilities of your job and on the results we are trying to achieve. I urge you to continue supporting our agency’s mission as well as your fellow TYC colleagues. You can count on me to do the same thing.

As always, if you have ideas on how we can improve our operations, please let me know.


Cherie"

Anonymous said...

Is Diogenes over-stepping here? Cherie may have not appreciated her TYC emails being sent to everyone? It appears Diogenes may need a lease or be placed back in his slithery hole. I wonder if he had permission to pass her emails on? What happened to trust and responsibility? Another fine example to follow.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Including diogenes, five different people forwarded me that email. It's hardly a secret or violation of trust. In fact, her memo is a public record.

Anonymous said...

And its posted on the TYC website :)

Anonymous said...

Hang on tight folks. Whitmire is driving and its going to be a bumpy ride till we reach the cliff. At least we are heading there fast and steady now. No more flat tires on the way.

Anonymous said...

You mean we do not need Incident Report Writing Specialists, Incident Report Writing Supervisors?What about Regional Incident Report Writing Specialists? It is good that we put a freeze on certain positions, especially ones that can be filled and the work accomplished by staff in the field! However, no one is safe because it will eventually trickle down into the field

Anonymous said...

What is this crap about the e-mail? TYC is supposed to be transparent and open and anyone that makes a public information request can get a copy of it 6:47. Get a life and focus your energy on the real issues. If "Cherie" has something to hide, surely she won't send it to every TYC employee. Duh...

Anonymous said...

I hate to even ask, but does anyone know if the new exec. comm. and some politicians were on the Crockett campus today? I know they were scheduled to be there.

Anonymous said...

Hey...Duh.., TYC has always been open and transparent?? What hole have you been living in? Perhaps you have no life or focus....if you believe everything you hear. Ask for prayers.

Anonymous said...

Senator Ogden, James Smith, and Alan Michel was at Crockett today

Anonymous said...

Crockett better watch out..Ogden was instrumental in closing Hamilton.
Good ole Alan Michels - the same Alan Michels who chokes and slams kids in handcuffs...some reform....

Anonymous said...

I've been gone for about a year. Who is Alan Michel and James Smith? I know far too much about Ogden.

Anonymous said...

TYC just can't get it right on any level. There is already a lawsuit filed on TYC, Eagle Lake and the private company running the place - we barely have youth in the door. geeeezzzzz

Anonymous said...

Please don't forget about all of the Pope, Humprhey and Smith appointees. Isn't it interesting that all appointments has been stopped. But now all positions in TYC have been frozen so that the new ExecComm can have someplace to put these people and keep them on the payroll. The more they try to change TYC, the worse it gets. And those who pay the price for this mess are the staff who have always been there in spite of the problems. Isn't TYC supposed to be about the kids?

Anonymous said...

"We had a bad leader for two years. Before that, we led this nation in juvenile justice while CRIPPA reports covered your asses. So i agree with my vet collegue, if you guys f'ed this up, its on you."

You had more than a bad leader for two years. Many of you sat back and did not report what was happening. So 5:49pm, were you about the kids? How many reports were made by you? Did anybody on this string stand up for the kids when they were being abused? Weren't each of you required by law to report child abuse? I get it that you wanted to keep your jobs. But what does it say about a group of public servants who agree to work for predators?

Face it TYC, the rest of the country recognizes you, at one time, led the nation until we realized that you were actually no better than anyone else. And the last time I checked, CRIPA is leaving our states and settling in Texas. Sooner or later the spotlight shines on everyone. You had a good ride TYC. Now get off your high horse and fix your issues like everyone else. If you really were that great before, than do it again. But please, stop all of your whining and in-fighting. Its really getting old. Old TYC, new TYC, TYC/TDCJ, Pope, Bush, Hernandez, etc. I don't even know these people but I sure do know the worst about them. Were you guys this complimentary about one another doing the good ole days? Or were you a family? Right now, you appear to be one big disgruntled one and until you stop blaming each other, your "controversies" will remain.

Anonymous said...

Well stated.....the abuses have been going on for about 12 - 15 years; not two years. That's sadly misleading. Many were there and failed to do their jobs; they complained at the coffee table but were too timid to do much more. I was refered to "Raped by The State", and it appears to explain how much of this all occured. It started at the top but most in the middle fell right in step! There is wide-spread blame in TYC, in addition to the front lines.

Anonymous said...

8:14 a.m. - alot of us didn't know what was happening at other facilities. So it's really not right of you to make a blanket statement like that because no sexual abuse like what occurred at WTSS happened at our facility that I know of. We had pretty decent Youth Rights Specialist and not someone just waiting for retirement to try to cash in when he should have yelled while he was in his position. Hell, ours did. Why didn't he?

Anonymous said...

makes you wonder if we're hearing the truth in CO's hallways... makes you wonder what else they haven't told me. Makes you wonder if and when some of us get laid off, it'll be over these very reasons.

Anonymous said...

Hitler's henchmen stated they didn't know what was going on, either - 619. Is ignorance really bliss? No problems at your place?

Anonymous said...

Randy has now lost it.

Johnny Williams did so too.

They both need help. Please help.

Anonymous said...

Youth agency contract canceled
State had paid more than $1M for unused beds.
By Mike Ward

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


Friday, October 24, 2008

Anonymous said...

If you are referring to the Randy that wrote "Raped by The State", he did the agency a big service. Most of the employees that I know were thankful that he had the courage to bring out the 'real TYC'. The only people that should have been upset would be corrupt officials, those who had their noses up administrators butts, or those involved in youth abuse and mistreatment. Why are you upset?

Anonymous said...

8:14, I think you post pretty often and I suspect you are the author of the book that keeps being pushed here. You say, "So 5:49pm, were you about the kids? How many reports were made by you? Did anybody on this string stand up for the kids when they were being abused? Weren't each of you required by law to report child abuse? I get it that you wanted to keep your jobs. But what does it say about a group of public servants who agree to work for predators?" Heaven, give me patience.

In the "old TYC," there might have been a handful of "predators." (Let me remind you that this has not been proved yet.) But it's insulting to have you preach to us about reporting abuse. While I was employed by TYC, I was doing exactly that every day, and I ignored nothing when it came to alleged abuse. NOTHING. Your posts imply strongly that abuse in the "old TYC" was widespread and most TYC employees turned their heads rather than report, hoping to keep their jobs. I would wager that every person who frequents this website was diligent in reporting and never would have kept quiet about sexual abuse if they knew about it. Stop throwing mud. You're making a mess of yourself and it's not worth it. No one wants to buy that book, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Touchy...O.J. didn't kill anyone, either. I bet you believe that, also. After all the reports that were made public, after and which verified much of the book, you still say there were only a few abusive incidents! I think the public would say you live with Osama, in a cave, to believe that. There have always been good staff but there are some who are so afraid to rock their secure boats,that they try to trash any mention of wrong doing in the agency. Are you perhaps both blind and hearing impared, along with brainwashed? Who, indeed, with this mentality, is looking out for the kids?

Anonymous said...

2:57, just stop. It obviously isn't helping the book sales, or you'd be in Cancun rather than continuing to lob midpies at us.

Anonymous said...

If any of you tried to read that book, and felt confused and wondered what exactly is this doof is trying to say because that shit was so disorganized, lacked any solid evidence to prove anything, full of opinions, then you just experienced what it was like trying to read one of his investigations.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

It wasn't the book that got TYC in trouble, it was a quite well written report by a Texas Ranger and press accounts by reporters for the Texas Observer and Dallas News.

I have no idea what some of you hope to accomplish by pretending nobody at TYC ever did anything wrong, but it harms employees' cause more than it helps to remain in a state of denial and fuels Whitmire's cause of abolishing the agency altogether. Look to the future and stop trying to justify the past. That ship sailed the day Dwight Harris resigned to avoid answering questions about the Ranger's report.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about this guy, but reports were required to be in a certain format, etc, and the only ones that were questionable were after higher headquarters in Austin manipulated and changed them, to fit who they wanted protected, or didn't want known to the public. DMN validated that. Isn't Paris nicer this time of year?

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is trying to say no-one did anything wrong besides the two in WTSS. Of course, there was plenty wrong. However, there was plenty that was right with the "Old" TYC as well.

I think people are objecting to an author trying to cash in on the current situation and make himself a hero when what he really did was wait until after he retired to write a very poorly written "expose'" of the TYC. If he really were such a hero, he would not have waited until after he was safely retired.

Anonymous said...

TYC was not as bad as some of you idiots try to state it was. Yes we had problems and they were brought out after the legislators covered their asses by placing the agency under conservatorship. If any agency need this it would have been TDCJ long ago but our elected leaders continue to look the other way.
For those standing on the sideline either by choice or some unfortunate mis-deed caused by this conservatorship don't believe me this agency has taken many steps backwards and yes we are still floundering. This can be squarely pointed at our elected officials.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, the author does not think of himself as a hero; just one who helped start a badly needed reform of TYC. He originally did intend to release the book prior to his retirement, that's probably why he requested protection under the whistle-blower act, which is in the book. It should be noted, however, that had he released the book prior to retirement, the Austin management-team culprits would have caused him severe pain and agony and tried to subvert his retirement. I think we can all understand that, unless we just don't want to accept reality, or the truth. The author was threatened by a senior TYC leader after the book was released, but the criminal backed off after he was advised he committed a felony by threatening the author in an email, witnessed by others, including myself.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 1:50pm but this would only be my 5th post in the 5 mos that I've been reading Grits for Breakfast. If that's "pretty often", then I'm guilty. However, I really do enjoy reading this blog. Oh, and sorry, but I haven't written any books either.

"Throwing mud" usually implies that there's not much truth in the words. However, my post at 8:14pm only re-stated what I've read in other posts. Grits has been trying to tell TYC employees the same thing, but you won't listen. So, I thought I'd give it a try and again, you've obviously missed the point.

Slow down, breathe, and think. Stop attacking everyone who is simply saying that TYC employees should start over at this point as a "team". Right now, it seems that you're so busy accusing each other and everyone else of being the problem, you can see that you're digging the hole deeper and deeper. Whether you want to claim the CO or other staff as a part of the team really doesn't matter. One can't function without the other so except it.

You've got a new leader so let the old TYC, new TYC, TYC/TDCJ, bad CO, and good CO go. If you really have her back then show it by ending this "Family Feud" within the agency. If not, I stand by my statement that "your controversies will remain".

Anonymous said...

It will really be up the the new leader to stop the "family feuding" by doing the right thing. Some old, old staff who are still around need to go. Some of the Pope transplants need to go and some of the most recent conservators appointments also need to go.

Good things are happening so far with her here. Treatment beds are expanding and people are being reassigned to better take advantage of their expertise.

For those of you who are writing, telling TYC staff to stop complaining, you do not know the history of this blog. I am curious Grits, how much your posts/ readership has expanded since March of 2007. At the time this blog exploded with TYC staff, feeling extremely insecure about the future of the agency. You know what, it is still the same way. This is the 6th administrative change in the past 20 months. What the hell do you expect from people who go to work every day, and it is complete chaos. TYC staff are frustrated with the lack of progress. We have youth receiving very little programming and the youth culture of TYC has gone to hell with feelings of entitlement and youth insecure with the uncertainty of treatment programs, institutions, staff, etc.

Anonymous said...

"Good things are happening so far with her here. Treatment beds are expanding and people are being reassigned to better take advantage of their expertise."

It's been what, 3 weeks?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Stay on topic, people - Geez.

And to the jerk who wants to pretend that everyone who thinks TYC had a sex abuse problem is really the author of "Raped by the State" writing anonymously, I'm bored with you now so I deleted a couple of your nastier missives and should have gone farther. That crap goes on on WAAAAY too many strings and I'm pretty sure it's all one person doing it. You don't know who anonymous commenters are on Grits and neither do I, so shut up about it stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

"That ship sailed the day Dwight Harris resigned to avoid answering questions about the Ranger's report."

What evidence do you have to support that comment because that's not the reason he gave us. Are you drawing factless conclusions here? If so, how is that not a "nasty" missive?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Dwight Harris resigned IMMEDIATELY before he was supposed to answer questions before the Lege then chose not come to the hearing, even in his capacity as a private citizen, or answer questions by the press or anyone else. He wholly refused to be held accountable in any way, preferring unemployment to standing up and taking responsibility for what happened during his tenure. That's just history, a factual recounting of what happened, whatever his excuses are.

He hung y'all out to dry, big time. I continue to believe if he'd behaved like a man and stuck it out, a lot of the flailing about last year could have been avoided - the agency possibly wouldn't have even entered conservatorship. Once he abandoned ship, though, the die was cast.

Anonymous said...

Ok now you have it right. But he didn't resign because he refused to answer some Ranger's questions as you said earlier. He resigned because he was about to have his ass handed to him by the ledge and he knew it. And your right, he did leave us out there and should've taken the heat.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"he didn't resign because he refused to answer some Ranger's questions "

I never said that. You're just complaining out of reflex, not because of anything I wrote.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for slamming that poster who was accusing everyone, he got a bit dirty, also. I think he needs some psy help!

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I really wonder who is telling the truth. You or the ledge. I don't believe either one of you, and wish you'd monitor your blog a little more closely and keep people on topic. Otherwise, you are doing nothing but feeding in to this bullshit.

I won't bother myself with whatever you (GFB) chose to respond to here or in the future. It's our belief that you are nothing but a f'ing liberal idiot.

Enough said amigo.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance 11:09. We won't miss you either.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I agree that DH's departure left us in the lurch. However, I listened to many of the previous interchanges between him and the Dean. The Dean did not listen to him. DH said he was resigning because he thought his presence would be a distraction. Maybe so - and maybe he was just tired of being treated like the Dean's "House N....."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

fyi, direct complaints about Grits comments policy to me via email. I'm not going to debate it here. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE e-mailed you, Grits, and it went no where either time. Keep deleting my posts, if you want to. Grits readers who watch closely might still see them.

Anonymous said...

Grits, 8:34 again. When you delete posts complaining about your one-sidedness, you ARE debating it, but not fairly. Yeah, I know -- get my own blog if I don't like it.

Grits readers should know that at least two of my posts have been deleted this morning, not because they were nasty or libelous but because they called Grits out for his one-sidedness.

Anonymous said...

"However, my post at 8:14pm only re-stated what I've read in other posts. Grits has been trying to tell TYC employees..." That's scarey. Surely, 8:14, you don't believe everything you read on Grits! Are you a current or former TYC employee, or do you have some other source of independent knowledge about TYC?

Anonymous said...

Notice, readers, a classic example of parsing:

"That ship sailed the day Dwight Harris resigned to avoid answering questions about the Ranger's report." (Grits at 9:31)

"he didn't resign because he refused to answer some Ranger's questions" (anon at 11:50)

"I never said that. You're just complaining out of reflex, not because of anything I wrote." (Grits at 1:21)

Anonymous said...

Dude...you are obsessing about this too much!

Get some Fluvoxamine and get a life.

This is a blog and it belongs to GRITS and as such he has the right to make the rules. First amendment rules don't apply.

Anonymous said...

You know - we were right on board with you Grits when we had the Bronco Billy/Pope/Mr. Ed show going on at the circus. But again, you don't seem to want to accept those of that know what happened prior to conservatorship.

We all know and accept that the director of juvenile programs at the time of the sexual abuse really dropped the ball. She was responsible for doing the investigation, and she dropped the ball big time and just didn't believe the allegations. But when the Ranger got involved, it all started coming out and Ray Brookins and Hernandez were fired.

1. Dwight had no control of the lack of prosecution. We had no authority to force the issue;

2. The gov's office was informed and there is e-mail to support it;

3. John Whitmire et.al were informed and there's video to prove that;

So the agency just sat and waited for this idiot prosecutor to do his job, believing the Ranger was in charge of the case.

And then came Blanskee and Swanson. Bam. Put all the blame on TYC, and Dwight in particular.

Dwight resigned to not be a distraction to appropriately funding TYC. I don't blame him one bit after seeing how Whitmire behaves in these hearing. I don't blame him for not wanting to waste his time sitting up there listening to what this idiot has to say. It didn't matter one bit what truth existed, Whitmire would twist it any way he wanted, and that's exactly what he did. However, if it were me and I had retired, I would have went up there and blasted that little cueball right out of his seat, but then again I think, how would that help this agency? It wouldn't do any good, so I really don't blame Dwight for just leaving. The agency is much, much worse off today than it was then thanks to all the interference.

When are you ever going to see that?

Anonymous said...

Oh and ask this: Do you think if we had an OIG then like we have now that any of this would have ever happened? That is one good thing that came out of this debacle.

Anonymous said...

Not really understanding what has been written concerning GFB being one sided because it is more than obvious that he has allowed all of us to voice different opinions although some go way overboard and I can understand why some things are being deleted.

Thank you for allowing us to voice but sometimes I wish I had the power to delete a few things myself so for those that are that upset, they need to get their own blog and quit b....ing

Anonymous said...

11:41 is right on the money.

12:12, my posts that were deleted were not nasty or obscene in any way. They were just critical of the way Grits chooses which posts step over the line, based on who is being ragged on. I would prefer that he deleted every "nasty" post, but he doesn't.

I agree that he can run his blog any way he chooses.

Anonymous said...

My question is this: why wasn't anyone suspicious when Ray Worsham did not request an investigator position in WTSS?

Anonymous said...

There was an investigator assigned to WTSS. At one time it was Randy Chance, not sure who followed.

Anonymous said...

Investigations at WTSS were handled out of a regional office. When the investigator out there started getting too close, they moved his office, knowing that his family circumstances prevented him from moving. Ray Worsham would not stand up to the power clique. Thereafter, investigator who were sent out there were subjected to regular attempts at intimidation by the administration.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, 11:46, OIG is a real attribute to the agency - that's why they can't get any indictments, excedpt against kids. And we were getting those through local law enforcement and DAs before. They're great - especially on paper - we can say "yes, we have our own police force". It sounds great, to any idiot that never looks any further.

Anonymous said...

That's the priority - as long as it sounds good in the media and to the politicians and as long as it looks good on paper. Nevermind what is REALLY going on on the campuses....the kids are in NO better situation than when this mess started. I'm sorry, did I mention the kids.....

Anonymous said...

We need more outside monitors that talk to the kids and staff and listen to what is really going on.

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