Brownwood Mafia and TYC Scandal
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sam hester

United States

#143 Oct 27, 2008
im glad they fixed the problem and i hope it stays that way. its sad that people can get away with things like that and possibly not get caught. that also needs to be dealt with in the low risk jails and county jails. i guess people are scared to step forward and tell the truth because they might lose their job. yet someone needs to speak out about these sexual acts. my girlfriend was in jail for a time and i was uncomfortable thinking a guard or jailer might try to have sex with her and get away with it. eventsomhough the inmate may be having good behavior the jailer or guard might want sexual acts from the inmate in order for privileges. thats outrageous,if the inmate is being good and obeying the rules they should diserve privileges without having to give her body up or something of that effect. so much is covered up and not told and nobody does anything about it. thats scary something needs to be done about it no excuses. think about if that was your wife or close relative in that position. even if their in there for a crime that kinda stuff should not go on and get covered up. that makes me angry and sick to my stomach. it makes me and others wander what kinda law enforcement do we really have. people with sick thoughts and dirty acts toward people maybe even your love ones. maybe even your on wife or girlfriend, man what kind of people do we really have working in our jail and juvinille facilities. people with wrong acts. something needs to be done.
wake up

Austin, TX

#144 Oct 29, 2008
not everyone that works there do things like that. i have been at tyc for 3 years and they have gotten rid of any dirty staff that were there. most of the staff and students have a good repoir and get along great. there are only 15 or so students that continuously assault staff, expose themselves, and conistently get restrained by tying ligatures around their neck and the staff go save them to keep them safe. believe me no one would want to touch these girls. half of them refuse to shower because they would rather sleep or get restrained all day. the staff are the ones being victimized as far as the goes. the other students are pretty decent
Mad as Hell

Seminole, TX

#145 Oct 30, 2008
We as tenured staff have trouble believing some of the ones fired for sexual misconduct. I guess you never know what other people do. It's not only illegal but down right nasty. Some of these youth have medical problems they will not get rid of.The youth might be young by age but have done things us older people wouldn't consider. As they said we do have some youth who are assaultive and some know the system so well they sit it up and other youth back the story. We still need a lot of work out there but I don't see a change yet. I know some of the sexual and physical restraint is blown out of proportion.I agree a one time sexual encounter is too much but if a kid runs at me to assault me I will do what I have to do. We have seen all kinds of kids, I agree some are there and are really not bad but the ones who are bad get the attention.Some of the youth have IQ's you would not believe and some are really hurting in that area. The thing is if they don't want our help, we can't make them learn. I know I worked so hard on one youth with a 120 IQ, she was sent to a halfway house and ran. She was then sent to prison. That made me so sad and disappointed because she could have done anything with her life. I still worry about her but there is nothing I can do, she once again made a bad choice. We have so many kids who are members of gangs, they have problems being together.I after after all these years still shake my head at some of the things some of them do. These poor misundestood youth get more than our own kids,EXCEPT total freedom. Some of this is bad parenting and some is from youth with the wrong peer group. Our youth are no longer strip searched and they are bring in all kinds of contraband. Contraband is something The State DOESN"T PROVIDE. I'm just waiting for someone to get hurt or killed because of that. These youth committed horriable crimes and we are babying these youth.Again firm, fair and consistent quit babying these youth.They are pulling you in to get what they want. I'm not at all not saying mistreat them but they need to know things are not given, you earn them. Are we cured, no we are human but we try to help with what we are given.God Bless you all and hang in.

Brownwood, TX

#146 Nov 7, 2008
Judge approves settlement in TYC abuse case

Nov. 6, 2008, 6:15PM

AUSTIN — A federal judge has signed the final judgment in an abuse case four teens filed against the Texas Youth Commission, a civil rights group announced Thursday.
TYC agreed to implement a long list of reforms, many that were already under way, officials said.
"We commend TYC for recognizing the serious problems in its facilities and trying to correct them," said Scot Medlock, the Texas Civil Rights Project's Prisoners' Rights Attorney, one of the lawyers who represented the four teens.
He said the youths, who suffered "serious injuries" under TYC's old regime and have since been released, were relieved that the commission is committed to making sure such abuse doesn't happen to others.
Among the reforms: creating regionalized facilities that keep children closer to home; designing a system that separates violent from nonviolent youths; improving oversight of TYC facilities by an ombudsman and abolishing open dorms that allowed children to be assaulted.
A TYC spokesman said that the agreement was reached in April and the reforms taking place go beyond the mediated settlement that U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel signed Wednesday.

read more here:

Brownwood, TX

#147 Nov 8, 2008
Layoffs at Texas Youth Commission
By Mike Ward | Friday, November 7, 2008, 05:12 PM

Twenty-three jobs have been eliminated at the Texas Youth Commission’s Austin headquarters and 12 other positions will be frozen to save $1.7 million, officials said late this afternoon.

Seven employees are being laid off. The rest of the cuts are in vacant jobs.

Jim Hurley, the agency’s spokesman, would not discuss who was laid off.

“We’re not commenting on any names,” Hurley said, noting that the affected employees were given notice yesterday.“This was middle to top level.”

The layoffs will become effective at the end of November, officials said, and are part of a management reorganization — the fourth in two years at the agency.

Hurley said the layoffs were a first step by newly hired Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend to examine staffing levels and utilization of the agency’s lockups for long-term needs.

“Our youth population has declined and that is reflected in what (Townsend) did yesterday),” he said.

The agency was placed in conservatorship in March 2007 after a sex-abuse and coverup scandal erupted involving incarcerated youths who were abused at state-run lockups by correctional officials. Most of the agency’s top management and its citizen governing board were fired, in what became the biggest state-agency corruption scandal in years.

read more here:

United States

#148 Nov 8, 2008
Speaking of local news I received information that the Brownwood Bulletin (who by the way is in conflict of its own with publishing lies, Mayor, etc.)refused to publish anymore "letters to the editor" regarding the TYC scandal and employees viewpoints. So, is it my understanding that the Bulletin can refuse to print anything it feels would "embarass the city" or would make this fine community realize that it is not the perfect Baptist community? It also seems that have a problem recognizing and coming to terms that we have drug problems, domestic violence, gangs, and that we are per capita ranking as high as the metro areas in violent crimes. No, just keep the blinders on, things like that don't go on in our community. I've lived here all my life and this community is nothing but a pack of lies and coverups.

United States

#149 Nov 8, 2008
Oh something I forgot. The Brownwood Mafia, don't they have some part to do with all the "unsolved mysteries" in Brownwood?? Unsolved murders to be exact....... No, that probably doesn't go on in our perfect little community either. lmao rof ha ha ha ha !!!!

Brookesmith, TX

#150 Nov 10, 2008
The Bulletin is an "ad paper". You want the news you'll have to read the Abilene paper. You may remember the Matt Giles (used car dealer) letter to the editor several months back where he was complaining about the district attorney Michael Murray and a couple of cars that were seized in a drug arrest. I wrote a letter to the editor as a follow up to my experience with the DA and they refused to print it. Gene Deason said it went "beyond opinion" and they would have to check with the DA before they would print it. The letter never ran. Here's what they refused to print.... June 11, 2008

Dear Editor,

I read with interest Mr. Giles recent experience with the Brown County DA, Mr. Michael Murray. I have my own experience as well. The following is just one of several. In April 2006, after consultation with an attorney with the Texas Medical Board, I contacted Mr. Murray and spoke to him personally. I, in thinking I was doing my civic duty, reported to Mr. Murray an imposter practicing medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy without a license in the city of Early. The first two offences are 3rd degree felonies and the latter is a class B misdemeanor. The individual in question held a degree from an unaccredited online or mail order "institution". Clearly, a bogus operation. I filled Mr. Murray in with the clear and convincing evidence that I possessed. He instructed me that he would have his investigator, Mr. Vance Hill, call me the following Monday which he did. The conversation with Mr. Hill lasted about 20 minutes as I gave to him the names of patients who had acupuncture, the evidence on making a diagnosis, prescribing a treatment and charging a fee for services (the practice of medicine according to the Texas Medical Board) and the description of a treatment practice that constituted massage therapy. Mr. Hill asked me if I would be willing to go in for the DA's office. As a registered nurse I told him I would believing that an individual like the one in question is a clear threat to the public's health, safety and welfare. Mr. Hill requested I hang on and do nothing until he got back with me. I am still waiting 2 years later. While I do not blame Mr. Hill for the inaction of the DA's office to protect the public's health, safety and welfare, I do squarely lay the blame on the DA Mr. Murray. Multiple phone calls to Mr. Murray after my initial contact produced nothing. No return calls, no action and apparently no concern for the public. Has the county phone system been down for 2 years? The imposter remained in full-time practice for approximately 6 months after that and continues to maintain a part-time office in Brownwood now.

Mr. Murray, who holds wide discretion in his prosecutorial duties as DA, clearly abused such discretion. He has forgotten exactly who he is accountability to... the electorate. There is absolutely no excuse for his lack of action... except politics. Busting the imposter would embarrass to many people is the only possible excuse and illegitimate at that. Do not forget Mr. Murray is an elected politician. He frequently abuses his discretion based only on the "political winds" that may be blowing. I have more examples to follow in due time. Is this the kind of DA you were expecting when he was elected? I doubt it seriously. I suggest a more appropriate occupation might be one with a "broom". I know he's very good at that.

Joe Cooksey

San Angelo, TX

#151 Dec 19, 2008
Steve wrote:
" So we got rid of the useless board, made up of Perry cronies, and replaced it with a single crony who is beholden only to the Governor. Is it just me, or is anyone else not impressed by that?"
read entire report here:
" For Mr. Perry, the quiet prize of filling boards has been offset by blaring problems at some state agencies, including the sex abuse scandal at Texas Youth Commission, maltreatment of the severely disabled at state schools and the abuse of foster children.

Jason Stanford, a Democratic political consultant, said Mr. Perry's philosophy of cutting government and programs for fragile Texans has put the state on a path of mediocrity and failure.

"Clearly, the Governor's Mansion burned down in part because the protections in place were not properly funded, whether it was the broken security cameras or a shortage of guards," Mr. Stanford said. "That is the clearest case anyone can cite that shows how mismanaging and under-funding government leads to specific and concrete problems."

The sexual abuse at TYC has been blamed on a lack of proper training, screening and oversight – and those problems are repeated in agencies throughout the state, he said.

"This is Rick Perry's baby, and he has to live with it," Mr. Stanford said.

Because of the sheer size of Texas government, it's inevitable that "something comes out of left field, that we never saw coming," Mr. Perry conceded. Nevertheless, "It doesn't matter if it's your appointees or not, the buck stops at this desk." "


Through appointees, Perry keeps strong hold on Texas
12:00 AM CST on Friday, December 19, 2008
By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News
[email protected]

United States

#152 Feb 19, 2009
Steve wrote:
Friday February 2, 2007
Brownwood Bulletin Op Ed: Columnists
Perceptions and misconceptions about far-away places — Steve Nash
Folks who live elsewhere can sure have some interesting perceptions about a community.
May I cite an example? Just recently I was speaking with someone from out of town who represents what you would call, I suppose, a human rights organization.
“I hear law enforcement there can be pretty tough,” he said.“Is that true?”
“Can you be more specific?” I axed.“What do you mean by ‘pretty tough?’”
“I’ve heard they call themselves the Brownwood Mafia,” he said.
I told him Brownwood is really a pretty good community — not perfect, has its share of yahoos, yo-yos and yokels, like any community. But not a bad place.

United States

#153 Apr 17, 2009
Steve wrote:
Go to link below (click on 03/12/07 10:06 a.m.- 1:45 p.m.) and fast forward to 43:20 to listen to Brownwood/Brown County DA's Testimony in Austin before the House Corrections Committee:
Excerpt of exchange between DA Murray and Rep. Haggerty regarding Brownwood and Brown County TYC Facilities. Haggerty says: " So this is the largest unit in the state, right ?--------- and it's just running so perfectly that nothing's happening out there -------- just checking ! "
Also note Brown County DA Murray testifying that he (his office) does not believe in giving jurisdiction (outsiders?) to the Attorney Generals Office on these cases !
From todays Brownwood Bulletin:
Tuesday March 13, 2007
Op Ed: Letters To The Editor
Get the feds involved in TYC investigation
To the editor:
I am appalled at the news stemming from TYC...not that a staff is suspected of having sex with students, nor that funds were misused by administrators. I am appalled that it has taken so long for anyone to do anything about it.
Having worked at TYC here in Brownwood for over 9 years, I have seen a lot of things that would have this community up in arms. I have even written to this very newspaper regarding these issues yet was ignored. I have seen many cases where sexual abuse was investigated, the officer terminated, but amazingly enough, criminal charges were never pursued. In many cases this is because the allegations are unproven or outright untrue.
This leads to a larger issue which is TYC’s treatment of its officers. Any officer at TYC will agree that they do not have to do anything wrong to get terminated. All it takes is for two or more “students” to say that an officer did something and the war is over! Leave the officers alone! 99.9 percent of them are simply trying to survive another day, or in TYC lingo,“Do my 8 and hit the gate.” The investigations should be involving people like Mrs. Stroud, and the administrators at the local campuses. Check the employee grievance system and you will find the real issues.
Also, how does it make sense for a state agency to investigate a state agency? That’s akin to the fox guarding the henhouse isn’t it? Get the feds involved!
John Duncan
- Offenses by Texas Youth Commission officials could be prosecuted in Travis County (Austin) under HB3316, which the House Corrections Committee takes up at 8 a.m. They'll also discuss examinations for children in the juvenile justice system and pardon eligibility for anyone who has completed a term of deferred adjudication.
Follow HB3316 here:

United States

#154 Apr 26, 2009
Steve wrote:
" So we got rid of the useless board, made up of Perry cronies, and replaced it with a single crony who is beholden only to the Governor. Is it just me, or is anyone else not impressed by that?"
read entire report here:
In April 2004, former TYC Inspector General Randal Chance wrote a book called Raped by the State, outlining abuse allegations in TYC -- especially at the West Texas State School.
Chance sent an email to Perry's office complaining that TYC employees were threatening him over his self-published book.
Chance's e-mail was forwarded to TYC by Perry criminal justice advisor Janna Burleson and copied to press secretary Kathy Walt and the general counsel's office.
An e-mail from TYC Chief of Staff Joy Anderson to the governor's office said the book was an "angry, rambling, racist, sexist attack against the agency'' and "offered little detail that would enable us to investigate further.'' Burleson wrote back: "No need to respond to him (Chance).''
Even if the book was the ramblings of a disgruntled former employee, the email exchange shows neither TYC executives nor the governor's office tried to investigate whether there was any subtance to what Chance was saying.
Chance said when he did not hear back from the governor, "I assumed they did not take it seriously.''

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