Monday, November 30, 2009

TYC Ombudsman indicted, resigns

If you'd predicted this when Governor Perry appointed Judge Catherine Evans TYC Ombudsman earlier this year, I'd have said you were nuts. See Mike Ward's coverage at the Austin Statesman.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Apparently, she thought the rules didn't apply to her. I wonder what made her think that?

Anonymous said...

Actually, this smells of a set-up. One has to wonder if the prosecution was initiated in retaliation for her actions as an ombudsman. I'm curious as to how many guards have been fired vs. indicted for a similar offense. :~)

Whitsfoe said...

Do your homework people. What happened in 1998 at that facility to a youth who died during a restraint? No Billed. Three employees were fired - one went on to be a Chaplin for TDCJ, the other won a Mayor race and was a body builder. All were from that county. Houston County has ignored all TYC referrals to criminal court for youth who've committed crimes on that campus. Now they got a "fish."

I don't know this woman from my days in Dallas, and not as Ombudsman for TYC - so basically, I have no opinion one way or the other.

But I am bothered by the fact that Evans was indicted because she's exposed a lapse of security within TYC. And it's just not happening in TYC when one considers that an inmate in TDCJ commandeered a vehicle using a "Hand Gun" while being transported to a Beaumont facility. And then this afternoon, one of my daughters classmates was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to the high school.

If these security breaches are not addressed, then I really don't feel safe with any reforms TDCJ or TYC or all police departments have made within the past two years. It really makes me want to secure gun on my hip again when in fact it's covered in dust. Get Texas secure.

Anonymous said...

The back peddling is unfortunate. First it is a test of security and now it is a harmless mistake?

How are kids in TYC supposed to be held accountable for their behavior when even the ombudsman won't tell the truth

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Cathy Evans wrote a prior report about how she smuggled in contraband (a gun, meds and cash) and now she "forgot" she had a knife in her purse.

The statute she is being prosecuted under says it's a 3rd degree felony to "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" bring weapons into a penal institution. The only defense to the statute is if the head of the penal institution consents. So, it doesn't matter if she was "testing security" or if she forgot. It was a crime. And she deserves everything that is happening now.

Anonymous said...

Figures...she forgets about a pocket knife and gets indicted

Bill Fitzgerald locks up hundreds on bad UA results. Results that he admits he knew were bad and nada.

You have to just love the Bexar County DA and Fed's in San Antonio.

Grits, Did you read where Fitzgerald's deputy chief Kathy Cline would show up drunk at night and have the IT staff break into Fitgerald's email to see if he was talking bad about her. No charges on that from DA Reed.

Cline also deleted all of open records information and ordered a cover up on lawsuit discovery. Again, nothing from DA Reed!

Pocket knife vs hundreds of lives destroyed for a false charge??? HMMMM

Whitsfoe said...

Her crime is that she thought she was above the law. Reforms at this level are a bitch. Meaning, no one is above it. Live and let learn.

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe,

You need to check your facts about Houston County indictments of youth referred. There have been several indicted and convicted, and several other sitting in jail waiting trial. Also, the "body builder" was not elected mayor. He is a county commissioner, and he was not fired, he resigned in disgust. One employee was fired, and the guy who is a chaplain in TDCJ was fired a year later over a paperwork matter connected with the incident. He was not involved in the restraint at all. The Ranger did a very thorough investigation, and his report combined with the coroner's report were the reason the two employees involved in the restraint were no-billed.
As for Ms Evans, when one gives three different stories, which story should the grand jury believe? There are far better ways of testing Security than by bringing contraband onto the campus.
Anyway, I find this diatribe of yours quite interesting, considering the fit you threw one time over being searched in Crockett!

Anonymous said...

It was more than a pocket knife. She brought a pistol on one campus.

Old Salty said...

Whitsfoe,

I know that chaplain, and it would be hard to find a finer man anywhere. You, sir, could not hold a candle to him on your best day.

Anonymous said...

Damn, Whitsfoe, your getting slammed!!!

Uncle

Anonymous said...

I bet the Judge goes to trial before the two perverts from WTSS. To date not one guilty party from the sexual misconduct or the cover-up of it have been convicted of anything. Most have not even been charged. So why the heavy handed bitch slap of the judge? She really pi**ed-off someone who is running things!

Anonymous said...

Something about this story sounds fishy. Maybe I've been with TYC too long but I wonder what the hidden story is.

Anonymous said...

This lady was wanting to get a big story and got popped w/ the goods plain and simple...
She saw a state agency on the ropes and thought she could come in and make them look stupid with an easy story....
Now she has felony charges against her...Glad she got caught ...
Maybe next time she should start her own version of the A-Team

Old Salty said...

Whitsfoe is a good guy - he just got his facts wrong, and made an out-of-place comment about a true American hero (that chaplain). FWIW, I cannot hold a candle to that particular guy, either. He is not only a man of great integrity who walks the walk, he was with 1/9 in 1968-69. All Marines know what that means.

Anonymous said...

"There have been several indicted and convicted, and several other sitting in jail waiting trial."

You have ONE in a Houston County jail right now (unless you've ignored updating the server).

How do you define "several?"

How many were involved in the beat-down of that hispanic kid and how many of those are in jail? How many of those were above age 17? Almost all.

I don't know who this whitsfoe ass is but he/she had a point. I work there and NONE of those kids were held accountable that I know of in this county.

Anonymous said...

Evans thought she was a marine and done the typical tyc thing. Most get away but she was caught in her own marine web. Shw won't get much more than attention from the whole affair.

Anonymous said...

tyc, a 120 year old state agency whose dedicated to the physical, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse of our states throw away children while perfecting the art of covering up those crimes.
Yea, it would be foolish not see this as a fishy story on all sides. It goes to show no matter how educated or well intended a person is when you expose the weakness’ in such a large well entrenched system of abuse and cover up you are going down.
I’m sure those gate house people and the security director did not appreciate the ombudsmen making them look foolish. People in those positions don’t appreciate other people helping them in areas where they are proficient on there own.

Sheldon tyc#47333 II c/s
gssb mvssb ftyc

Anonymous said...

Sheldon, you are so embellished with hate that your comments have no point or value. YOU are a criminal and even with time past you have not learned any rehabilitative behavior, nor or you helping the community or Texas with your tireless rants about tyc. It only shows you for what you truly are...a criminal filled with hate, that wants to strike out and hurt others.

Anonymous said...

When staff refuse to write half-decent Incident Reports, and refuse to properly supervise youth in the first place why would a prosecutor want to take the case? They are already in TYC for felonies. They are already locked up - in TYC. Maybe you should do your job and quit whinging about sending kids to jail. TYC has too many people who want a paycheck, but don't want to work. The good responsible workers are at risk because of you who try to buy the kids off to give you a quiet shift.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon tyc#47333 has gone through a system that has forever changed him. I noticed 02:57:00 PM labeled Sheldon a criminal. I guess 02:57:00 PM feels once a criminal, always a criminal. This type of thinking is exactly what breeds continued criminal behavior. Once a person commits a crime and is convicted they are forever thought of as a criminal by the majority of society. I have been down the same road as Sheldon and I have very negative feelings toward most people because of the way I have been treated over the years. It mattered little that I got an extensive education and lived a good life for decades, I was still a criminal by society's standards. As an outcast I have learned to hate and have no empathy for the majority of society. In the past I tried to reach out and help others in need but those days are long gone. I finally came to understand I am nothing but a criminal and expected to be antisocial. For years I tried to redeem myself but to no avail. I finally got tired of trying to have a positive attitude. Today I could care less what happens to others unless they are my friends or family. There are a few I wish only the worst possible circumstances. Sheldon it will never make any difference how long you live a good life you will still be a common criminal to most folks. I know from experience!

A rehab system that instills hatred is not a good system. Society pays a very high price but it is self inflicted and justly deserved. 02:57:00 PM you can KMA.

Educated Ex-Con

Anonymous said...

2:57 I believe my statements are factual with a century of documented evidence that is public knowledge. The culture we speak about is a culture of team playas good ol boys cover up and all forms of abuse perpetrated on children as well as staff. In that type of culture how could a story such as this not be fishy on all sides.
For example, the comment
Anonymous 12/01/2009 10:09:00 PM said...
Something about this story sounds fishy. Maybe I've been with TYC too long but I wonder what the hidden story is.

Educated Ex-Con, You may be on to something. I have struggled with this for years. I will never forget how my engineering and science professors would tell us if your too stupid to be here, the school of social science is down the road. I couldn’t help but to think of my captors and especially my caseworkers in tyc and quietly chuckle. I have my GED hanging next to my UT BSEE. My caseworker a red neck with more attitude than smarts, Ron Jenson my he rot in hell, inscribed on my GED certificate, “if he runs again tear it up”. What a moron, LOL.

After 30 years of no state supervision I can’t seem to shake the altitude of ridiculing blatant ignorance on the part of government officials who can’t think beyond the policies of zero tolerance unless it benefits them. It doesn’t matter how many good people you have working in tyc, and there are some, that culture of low paid over worked state emps only promotes the type of abusive behavior and oversight the public has seen in the headlines for the last century. With an 87% recidivism rate and an obvious verifiable pathway to prison for its student population, tyc has maintained the right to be called a prison prep school.

For right now I’ll keep reaching out to kids and parents who are caught up in the juvenile justice system to hopefully prevent the child from going to tyc. As well as tyc kids to help them break the normal pattern of going to prison after being under tyc supervision. I’m working on a book called “Breaking Norms”, catchy title, to give advice to tyc kids on how to get out from under the state’s supervision and lead a productive life.
www.ironguardiansnt.org
Some people might not like what
I say but its factual stuff in tyc’s 120 year history of abusing the throw children of this great state of Texas.
Sheldom tyc#47333 II c/s
gssb mvssb Ftyc

Anonymous said...

There are 5 to 10 JCOs carrying pocket knives on the Campus of Crockett State School on any given shift. This simply boils down to the Crockett staff and the good citizens of Houston County (grand jury) finally handing back some of what we have been given from TYC Central Office over the last couple of years. Let's be sure to give all those bozos from Austin a thorough pat down when they come to visit.

JB

Anonymous said...

Wasn't she and the top lady from TYC that covered up the sex scandal all related to Whitmire? All were allowed to drift into the unknown with the other TYC sex cover-ups; to be further covered and forgotten.

Anonymous said...

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What TYC Security? Richard Whittaker Tue Dec 1, 3:21pm Tags: Governor's Office, Texas Youth Commission


CLICK TO ENLARGE

TYC: Still better than the old daysGov. Rick Perry's appointees don't always have the best track record, but Texas Youth Commission Independent Ombudsman Catherine Evans may have set a new bar: Forced to resign within two months of her appointment after she was indicted on Monday for smuggling a knife into a TYC facility.

This all began in October when Evans was visiting the Crockett State School in East Texas. According to Special Prosecution Unit Executive Director Gina De Bottis, "She had not been properly searched at the front gate, and when she was walking around the facility, she was approached by another person who asked her if she had been searched." On further investigation, the state claims that they found a Swiss Army-style knife in her bag, plus other items that could have been contraband, like a clear vial of a white powdery substance that tested positive in the field for amphetamines but turned out later to be dish washing detergent.
So what, some may ask? She forgot to take a pocket knife out of her bag, where's the felony? Well, a felony is exactly what it is (possessing a prohibited item in a correctional facility). What makes this all the more embarrassing is that Evans is not only a former judge, a former commissioner of the Texas Juvenile Probation and the Dallas County Juvenile Advisory Board, but she previously served on the TYC Advisory Board (although, frankly, considering the condition of Texas' juvenile justice system, being that historically involved with these agencies might actually disbar, rather than qualify, one for the position).

She now faces Third Degree Felony charges, with a sentence of two to ten years in jail plus a $10,000 fine. However, DeBottis said that, since Evans is not likely to have a criminal record, there is a high probability of parole.

Evans only took over at TYC in October, when she replaced inaugural ombudsman, ex-ACLU of Texas executive director and former Criminal Justice Coalition chair Will Harrell. Well regarded as an intelligent reformer, he was deeply involved in the original 2007 agency reforms and established the well-regarded Youth Ombudsman program. He moved to become TYC's director of special projects earlier this year. It's going to be interesting to see how lawmakers and prison reform advocates will respond both to Evans' failure of judgment and the facility's failed safety procedures.

What may remain even more embarrassing is that, three years after the TYC scandal first broke, and two years after the legislature ripped away the facade of functionality to reveal the abuse that seemed inherent in the system, there has been a worrying lack of prosecutions over that debacle, and those that have progressed have been worryingly slow.

Anonymous said...

What's sad is that it was the Texas Rangers who investigated the superintendent and principal at West Texas.

If there is a conspiracy to get one and not the other, then the conspiracy is either a bigger animal than the famed Texas Rangers can handle or they a party in the conspiracy.

If you subscribe to conspiracy theories...

Anonymous said...

You know there is a conspiracy. Otherwise this would have already been to trial. The governor's relatives being involved has ensured the conspiracy; let along the top TYC folks that have contacts in Austin.

Anonymous said...

Who else has resigned over this ?

Anonymous said...

J.B. was fired right after her. Good move.

Anonymous said...

J.B.? Is that a reference to someone related to the West Tx scandal or the Ombudsman's office?

Anonymous said...

Who the heck is JB?

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