Perry Appoints TYC Special Master, Orders Rehabilitation Plan
Kimbrough to lead investigation; Owens to develop rehab plan
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today utilized new tools authorized by the Legislative Audit Committee and appointed Jay Kimbrough as Special Master of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). Kimbrough, who will report directly to the governor, will lead a commission-wide investigation of TYC policies and procedures, reports of failures and wrong-doings by commission staff and specific instances of abuse.
Acting Executive Director Ed Owens, who took office on Thursday, will be responsible for developing a comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan in consultation with the State Auditor that corrects the failures identified by Kimbrough's investigation.
Texas Government Code 2104.021 dictates that an order of conservatorship precludes a governor from also ordering the agency to enter into a rehabilitation plan. Perry said that his appointment of a Special Master will allow the state to use all of the additional tools provided by the Audit Committee, rather than choosing only one.
"I welcome the additional authority provided by the legislature because it will empower the state to more swiftly identify and fix the pervasive problems at the Youth Commission," Perry said. "With a Special Master, the state will aggressively investigate reports of abuse and hold people accountable for their actions. And we will develop a long-term plan that will rebuild this broken agency from the ground up, and refocus it on its mission of rehabilitating young Texans."
"There is no one better to lead this transformation than Jay Kimbrough and Ed Owens," Perry said.
Kimbrough will conduct a sweeping review of the TYC and present his findings to the governor and the Legislative Audit Committee. All TYC employees will be required to fully cooperate with the Special Master's investigation or face possible termination.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will provide support resources upon request to assist the Special Master's investigation. The TYC Board will also create a strengthened Inspector General position that will be accountable directly to the board instead of the bureaucracy. Kimbrough will appear before the Senate Nominations Committee.
Kimbrough has served as Deputy Attorney General and the Governor's Director of Homeland Security and Deputy Chief of Staff.