Tuesday, April 10, 2007

If this had happened two years ago, things would be very different at the Lege this year

Finally. Via Quorum Report:

Charges against Ray Edward Brookins and John Paul Hernandez include sexual assault and improper relationship with a student.

The Attorney General's office announced today that a grand jury in Ward County has returned 23 indictments against the former principal and the former assistant superintendent of the West Texas State School.

What do readers think: Will these guys plea, or will we see trials?


Anonymous said...

i bet they'll cop a plea to avoid the embarrassing details being made public.

The Geography Lady said...

What I want to know is, why did Judge Bob Parks agree to the dismissal of 80% of the felony cases filed in his district.

Anonymous said...

Ray Brookins who worked as a Captain for TDCJ will most definitely flee if he can come up with his 10% of his $100,000 bond. He was employed with TDCJ prior to coming to TYC for 10 years and knows this would not be in his best interest to go to the pen, 1st as an ex-guard and as a sex offender!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We will definitely see pleas. Too much information about people higher up would come out during a trial.

Brookins had plenty of time to run and hide. I doubt he is going anywhere. Sounds like he might enjoy what is coming his way in TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

It's about time... but since Whitmire made the following statement:

"TYC’s new leaders should “continue pursuing those in the agency who sat on this information after it was brought forward. And we, the lawmakers, need to change the laws to make certain that it is not allowed to happen in the future.”

Whitmire, surrender. The March 2005 tapes don't lie. You and Chuey can share a cell with both of these molesters. You were both there to hear Mr. Dwight Harris' explanation of this situation to that whole panel.

Again, the tape doesn't lie. It's in the archives. You boys need to head to seventh and 35 and do the right thing...

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:58pm, when will we see elected officials held accountable for their knowledge of these crimes?

Anonymous said...

If they cop a plea, it could be because they have already been tried and convicted by the public. Everyone assumes the kids are telling the truth, and that the Texas Ranger did a good investigation. Civil rights groups will probably avoid this, but they shouldn't. Guilty or not, they should get a fair trial.

Anonymous said...

5:32: Brookins, Hernandez- is that you?

shoot- if you want everyone involved that didn't do anything, you'd have to include all the people in the Governor's office and Dick Armey.

How come people keep saying that Dwight Harris tried to tell so he should be out of the mess. Yeah, he told them what happened, and he also let the two molesters stay in the agency afterward. He knew about all the stuff they did leading up to all the molestings and before all this mess came out too. He failed in not doing anything to stop it before it got worse and then get them away from kids after it all came out. Yeah, he told the lege, and then he sat on it.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@ 8:58, I was at that hearing, too, so I guess you can blame this blog along with the others. See what I wrote about it here.

And at 8:29, you won't see me exonerating Harris, for the reasons cited in the above link. best,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to take some of the blame Grits, but the difference between you and them is that you were not in any position at any of the agencies to change things. You did what you could which was to post the information. Thanks for doing what you can :)

Anonymous said...

Here we go again! Can't WTSS ever catch a break? I just heard through the grapevine that the reason Mr. Simmons was taken off campus was because he didn't report an incident of kids having sex with each other. Instead of reporting it like policy says (that the Superintendent is responsible for reporting it themselves)he passed the buck to his assistant to report it. Neither of them reported. Someone else had to and then did it wrong.
I just don't understand why people in high positions like Superintendents don't take this stuff going on seriously and do everything by the book so we can stop having the media focusing on everything we do. It's stuff like this that will make sure our facility is shut down! I just want to cry.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard if TDCJ takes over these facilities if they will hire or transfer the TYC employees into those jobs?

Anonymous said...

8:58 replied to Grit: Why would I want to blame you Scott? What am I missing here? Is there some ethical reason, or something about the journalism profession that would dictate when and why a journalist should file an open records request? I'm not a journalist as you can probably tell ;) but I'd really like to know.... do journalists have some sort of code of ethics, or something similar that would make you and others like you somehow culpable for not making such a request? Or were you just being sarcastic? lol... it's OK if you were... that's why we read! This by far is one of the best political blog sites I've ever seen. Very good work my man... cheers!

Anonymous said...

@9:58 a.m. if TDC does take control of those facilities, if the Hamilton experience is any indication of how they will transition the process, you more than likely will be offered a CO position because they don't have quit the need for professionals with degrees. But look at it like this (for now); if you are able to relocate, if you have that flexibility, you're going to be in demand in the future as we go through this transition. It's been my experience in TDC and TYC that those who have the ability to pick up and move around the state always have had the best futures ahead of them. But nonetheless, the Hamilton experience did teach me that the TYC will go overboard to try and place you somewhere, and re-hire you if you happened to be laid off. I’ve seen that too.

And for those many of you worried about misdemeanors on your CRC, if it was just a misdemeanor and not a felony reduced to a misdemeanor, I say relax. There are more of you than anyone ever thought. Texas is a very aggressive state when it comes down to holding people accountable, as evidenced by all these enhancements currently being proposed. That is, unless, you live in Ward County (and maybe more).

If they did a CRC on everyone in this state, and required all employers to not hire MB’s or MA’s, then the state government couldn’t function.

Maybe in Utah, but not Texas.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but did anyone else see the Statesman article about the new head "Inspector General" Bruce Toney in TYC? It looks like he is being put in the removed Ray Worsham's place. Excuse me again, but was Mr. Worsham's position an elected or appointed position? We're not talking about a Board Member or Agency head. This position is what- maybe 10th down from the top? Unless you are the head or Czar of the agency appointed (Kimbrough) by your buddy (Perry), since when did all of the rest of TYC positions become "appointments"? Where was the job vacancy announcement for Worsham's position? Why weren't others allowed to apply? Is this how the rest of the agency is going to be cleansed and refilled as well? I smell lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:24, this position was posted it was the inspector general position. The newspaper prints thngs just a little different. He was selected as the the best apllicant for the position. This is what TYC needs! I am waititng to see the Re-org everyone is all hushed about....come on let's get this mess behind us and move on!
HR needs some cleaning up too not all but a few.

Anonymous said...

How convenient for the newspaper to post things "just a little different" so no one knew what it was. What did it call the job title? Internal Cleansing Agent? Head Janitor? I don't give a damn if you think he's the best guy for the job! You're probably the one that hired him- IPERIAL MAKE ME CRY WHILE I RIDE MY HARLEY CZAR KIMBROUGH! None of us knew it was out there. This agency is getting just as infected with incestuous relationships as it was before. This time the guys are just claiming to wear the "good hats". Right. Then why are half the son of a bitches involved in all of this crap still walking around. This is bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I agree that HR needs some cleaning up. Eric Young has been over the HR dept. for TYC for 16 years, and he says these felons weren't hired under his watch! All those felons that were hired had waivers that went across Eric Young's desk. He was responsible for this, and now he is trying to save his own hide by supporting termination of all felons working for TYC. As a member of TYC's executive council, he also knew about the cover ups at West Texas!

Anonymous said...

The policy in place at the time these hires were made specified that the deputy or executive director had to make the exception - I don't think the HR director had the authority to make the waivers.

Regardless, the actions being taken by Kimbrough, et. al. are just begging for a lawsuit. This oughta be fun...lol

Anonymous said...

Here's your new policy people. They think they have staff shortages now, wait till this hits. Pay attention to the CRC's. The way it reads, even if your charged with something and your waiting for your day in court, even if it's an alleged A or B Misd., your history.

Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual

Chapter: Selection and Hiring
Title: Background Checks
ACA Standard(s): 3-JTS-1C-15
Effective Date: 4/13/07, T-76

Replaces: PRS.05.13
Dated: 3/30/07, T-75



The Texas Youth Commission (TYC) will conduct a background checks on individuals who are competing for a position with TYC (e.g., prospective new hires, rehires, and contract employees), non-competitively transferred, promoted, or reinstated employees, volunteers, and employees of contractors who are assigned to work in TYC facilities or programs. Criminal record checks and driving record checks may also be conducted at any time, at the discretion of management, on current employees, volunteers, and employees of contractors who are assigned to work in TYC facilities or programs.


For additional background checks on prospective volunteer applicants, see VLS.03.02.

Explanation of Term Used.

Background Checks – for the purposes of this policy, background checks consist of reference checks, credential checks, psychological evaluations, driving records checks, and criminal records checks to include fingerprinting.

Background Checks.

Reference Checks.

For Outside Applicants.

The hiring authority verifies and documents at least two (2) employment references for conditional employees.

Personal references may be substituted for employment references only when applicants have limited employment experience. Employment references are preferred.

For Current or Former Employees.

Before an offer of employment (for rehire, promotion, or transfer only; this does not apply to step increases, shift changes, or career ladder changes) can be made to a current or former employee, the hiring authority must contact via email the human resources administrator (HRA) at the facility where the candidate is or was last employed to request the following documents and information:

copies of the candidate’s last two performance evaluations;

copies of any and all discipline issued to the candidate; and

information regarding any pending investigations or disciplinary actions.

Upon receipt of the request from the hiring authority, the HRA must complete the HRA portion of the Internal Background Review form, HR-026, and forward the form to the hiring authority along with copies of the information listed in paragraph (i) above. In order to complete the HRA portion of the HR-026 form, the HRA must:

list any disciplinary actions on the form so the hiring authority can verify that the complete disciplinary history has been received;

determine if there are any pending investigations against the candidate by checking the Employee Grievance and Alleged Mistreatment databases (this may require checking with the chief local administrator (CLA) or Central Office Human Resources Management Department or the Office of General Counsel legal services section), and consult with the candidate’s supervisor; and

identify on the form any pending disciplinary actions, and any pending investigations.

Upon receipt of the HR-026 and supporting documents, the hiring authority must:

review the background information and documents provided by the HRA;

make a diligent effort to contact the present or last supervisor(s) of the candidate and complete a Reference Check for Internal Applicant form, HR-015i, for each supervisor contacted;

certify on the HR-026 form that he/she has completed this review.

TYC supervisors have an obligation to candidly provide information and opinions regarding the performance and conduct of a current or former employee in response to an internal reference check.

The inquiries and responses must be confined to job-related information.
No information should be requested or provided regarding the candidate’s complaint or grievance history, claims of workplace injury, medical conditions, use of medical leave, requests for or provision of accommodations.
No information should be requested or provided which would tend to indicate that the candidate has a disability.

If the hiring authority determines that there are any pending investigations of the employee’s conduct, or any disciplinary actions, past or pending, that involve mistreatment of youth, inappropriate relationships with youth, inappropriate sexual conduct, discrimination, acts of dishonesty, or failure to cooperate in an investigation:

the hiring authority must indicate this on the HR-026; and
an offer of employment may not be made unless written authorization is obtained from the:

(-a-) CLA;
(-b-) appropriate director of juvenile corrections (or Central Office department head if the position sought is in Central Office);
(-c-) the assistant deputy executive director for juvenile corrections (or Central Office division head); and
(-d-) the assistant deputy executive director for human resources.

College Degrees, Licenses and Certificates.

The local human resources office verifies and documents college degrees, appropriate coursework, and licenses or certificates, if the position requires such verification. Copies are maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

Teacher Credentials.

Prior to hiring a teacher, transcripts, teacher certificates, and teacher service records must be signed by appropriate official of previous school; and received by the local human resource administrator (HRA). Submit a copy of the service record with the Personnel Action Request (PAR) form, HR-002.

Criminal/Driving Record Checks.

In this portion of the policy:

“Candidate” means an individual who is competing for a position with TYC (e.g., prospective new hires, rehires, and contracted employees).

“Non-Candidate” mean non-competitively transferred, promoted, or reinstated employees, and employees of contractors who are assigned to work in TYC facilities or programs.

A “conviction” is defined as an adjudication of guilt or an order of deferred adjudication, whether or not the imposition of the sentence is subsequently probated and the person discharged from community supervision. The term does not include an adjudication of guilt or an order of deferred adjudication that has been subsequently expunged or pardoned under the authority of a state or federal official.


A criminal and driving record check will be conducted on all candidates, non-candidates, and volunteers. Criminal record checks and driving record checks may also be conducted at any time, at the discretion of management, on current employees, volunteers, and employees of contractors who are assigned to work in TYC facilities or programs.

TYC conducts criminal and driving record checks through the Texas/National Crime Information Center (TCIC/NCIC). See PRS.05.14 for TCIC/NCIC process.

Except as otherwise required or allowed by law, access of criminal and driving record reports are restricted to authorized personnel in Central Office Human Resources Management Department.

Employees, candidates, non-candidates, and volunteers must have a valid driver’s license from the state in which he/she resides and a driving record which meets acceptable standards if employed in or applying for a position or assignment which requires the routine transportation of youth or the routine operation of a state vehicle.

A candidate, non-candidate, or volunteer with an out-of-state driver’s license must furnish a current certified copy of that state’s driving record prior to hire.


When the hiring authority selects the top candidate, he/she notifies the local HRA of the selected top candidate.

The hiring authority or local HRA is responsible for:

verifying that the candidate or non-candidate driver’s license is valid and the driver license meets the requirements for the position or assignment, or driving a state vehicle; and

informing candidates and non-candidates that a criminal and driving record check will be conducted; and

submitting criminal and driving record check requests to the Central Office Human Resources Management Department.

Action Taken on the Criminal Record Findings.

If it is determined, from a criminal record check or otherwise, that an employee, candidate, non-candidate, or volunteer has been convicted of a criminal offense, or has a pending criminal charge, a determination is to be made of whether the individual should be, or remain, eligible for employment or assignment in the position held or sought.

This determination of employment or assignment eligibility is to be made using the guidelines within this policy.

Persons who have been convicted for any of the following are not eligible to become or remain employed with the agency, nor to serve as a TYC volunteer or employee for a contractor assigned to work in TYC facilities or programs.

(-a-) a capital offense;
(-b-) a felony of any kind;
(-c-) a drug offense;
(-d-) an offense involving domestic violence;
(-e-) any class A or B misdemeanor for which the person was convicted within the last five (5) years.

Except as otherwise required or allowed by law, information obtained from a criminal record check is to be kept confidential and disclosed to the local HRA, hiring authority, CLA, or others (e.g., a hearing officer, or a grievant whose criminal record is at issue in a grievance), as applicable, on a need-to-know basis only.

Records of arrests or other criminal charges which have not resulted in a conviction are not to be used to disqualify an individual from employment or assignment. However, a person against whom a criminal charge is pending for which a conviction would result in disqualification from employment or assignment in the position held or sought is required to provide proof of disposition of the charge, and will be deemed ineligible for employment or assignment until the charge is resolved to the satisfaction of management, and adequate documentation of the disposition is provided.

If the subject of a criminal history record check is an information technology employee, candidate, non-candidate, or volunteer as define in Texas Government Code §411.1405, all documents containing criminal record history information regarding such person are to be destroyed after the information is used to make a personnel decision or to take a personnel action relating to the person who is the subject of the information.

Action Taken on the Driver Licenses Findings.

If it is determined, from a driving record check or otherwise, that an employee, candidate or non-candidate has an invalid driving record, a determination is to be made of whether the individual should be, or remain, eligible for employment or assignment in the position held or sought.

This determination of employment or assignment eligibility is to be made using the guidelines in this policy.

If driving record does not meet the standards of the ten-point assessment system defined by the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Public Safety, the Central Office Human Resources Management Director must determine if the employee, candidate, non-candidate, or volunteer should be, or remain, eligible for employment or assignment in the position held or sought.

Except as otherwise required or allowed by law, information obtained from a driving record check is to be kept confidential and disclosed to the local HRA, hiring authority, CLA, or others (e.g., a hearing officer or a grievant whose driving record is at issue in a grievance), as applicable, on a need-to-know basis only.

Psychological Evaluations.

All new and previous employees whose conditional position requires daily/routine direct care with youth, as defined in PRS.15.13, are required to have a psychological evaluation. This requirement includes rehired employees who have previously taken the psychological evaluation. The applicant being considered for selection must have the psychological evaluation completed, and the hiring authority must have reviewed the psychologist’s recommendation as to employability before the applicant can report to work. Documentation from the reviewing psychologist is confidential and must be forwarded to the employee’s human resources office immediately.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like TYC will be hiring some very prim and proper people from now on (at least those never caught). Wonder how those staff will be able to empathize with law breaking students? Careful not to spill your tea as a 10 year old tells you he had sex with his sister. Be sure to read a book on the court system so when they tell you they weren't given a fair trial, you might have a concept of how that goes. And, remember to bring a change of clothes (especially underwear) when you find yourself trying to break up a fight between two gang rivals who want to kill each other (yes, the little darlings do that). But, it's ok. It's all fixed now.
This is what the new hire interview will look like.
Welcome to the New TYC. It's all fixed now. You see, the man in charge is VERY good friends with the Gov. and has Mr. Perry's best interest in mind. Now mind you, it may not be YOUR best interest or the students, but rest assured, SOMEONE's best interest is being thought about. Oh, and to make you feel even more at home and assured that things are fixed; we have Mr. Ed Owens overseeing everything that could possible go wrong and land us in court. We find him very accomplished at this as he was just involved in his own sexual abuse scandal cover up and came out smelling like a rose. Please shake his hand next time you see him walking the hallways a free man. He is such a role model for us all. Well, that is until someone may press criminal charges against him for that little cover up and he gets a record. Then of course, we would have to fire him due to our new policies. But, until then, we're just glad no "official person" has looked at his work history within TDCJ before he was so thankfully heave-hoed over to TYC so TDCJ didn't have to look at him anymore. Anyway, I digress. We're so glad to have you aboard you new TYC employee. Ok, let's check again that you have your survival package; tea cup- check; court book- check; change of clothes and undies- check; oh, and your new chain of command list showing all of the VERY important people you will be answering to (well, until they find something else to do or are arrested)- priceless.

Anonymous said...

Man I'm getting the hell out of TYC. This agency has gone to shit with policies like this one. The part that gets me is that you could have drove on a suspended license within the past five years (a class b misdemeanor) and your about to be on the streets. I feel like I just wasted 21 years of my life in this place.