Wednesday, September 19, 2007

With Gonzales gone, will USDOJ give more oversight?

Maybe the timing is just a coincidence, but after six years of ignoring every major criminal justice scandal in the state, the US Department of Justice civil rights division last week began to step up more forcefully in Texas.

I wonder if Alberto Gonzales' departure has anything to do with it?

Before this month, DOJ's attitude toward civil rights here was typified by its approach to the Texas Youth Commission - despite more than 2,000 complaints and ample evidence of abuse, DOJ failed to act.

Ditto for Texas' state schools for the mentally retarded, where DOJ issued a report alleging serious abuse but did not pursue legal action.

DOJ also ignored complaints for years about Texas' Tulia-style drug task forces; in the end Governor Perry cut their funding and most have closed up shop, but we would have waited a long time, perhaps an eternity, for DoJ to act.

That lackadaisical attitude appears to be changing. Last week the USDOJ sued the Dallas County jail to remedy poor healthcare and conditions.

Now DOJ has launched an on-site inquiry into use of force at the Austin Police Department, reacting to a 2004 complaint filed by the NAACP. Why it took three years to do so, I haven't a clue. But the timing of the investigation launch so soon after Gonzales' departure, coupled with the lawsuit in Dallas, makes me think perhaps the DOJ civil rights division might be feeling a little extra pep in its step.


Anonymous said...


Of course, this has been one of the more striking contrasts between the Morales case and today.

Back then, the DOJ took civil rights a little more seriously, and actually signed on as a co-plaintiff in the case. This put the full weight and resources of the feds behind the case, including the investigatory capacity of the FBI.

Today, nada. Zilch.

I'd suggest that this reflects not only the current admin's general disregard for civil rights but also the specific fact that this scandal was largely created by Bush appointees and Bush-sponsored legislation.

In other words, he had a major role in making this mess and then dumping it off on others (a recurring theme for Bush, as the next President will find out).

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

The only salvation for TYC is the USDOJ. There needs to be a thorough investigation of TYC and it's current administration that is beyond the reach of Pope's policies of intimidation and retaliation. The DOJ especially needs to look at the involvement of a certain Mr. Omoniyi (sp?)who should be awaiting trial with Brookins and Hernandez for his role in covering up the sexual abuse at WTSS. His "promotion" is a slap in the face to anyone who truly cares about the kids in TYC and the only ones congratulating him are those who kissed his ass for favors at WTSS. I hope that this ridiculous choice for regional director doesn't lead to mass walk-outs at WTSS.

Anonymous said...

Just how did Ayo cover up for his boss? The cover-up was engineered by Lydia Barnard and abetted by Chester Clay. The cover-up of Brookin's behavior began before he ever set foot on WTSS campus. It was Barnard who would not allow her Assistant Supt. (Michel-Dean)at San Saba fire the guy. It was Barnard who engineered his transfer to WTSS to protect him from Michel-Dean after Barnard was promoted, and no longer had any say over San Saba.

Someone, please give some specifics about Ayo's role in the cover-up. Seems to me Ayo's biggest problem is that he cannot talk Texas.

Anonymous said...

Read the Ranger's report if you're really interested. For someone who knows as much as you do about what happened at San Saba, you're certainly ill informed about WTSS. And evidently you are or know Eye-o. It's almost like your fishing for identities. But, nice try.