Senator Bob Deuell

February 28, 2007
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Deuell Votes To Dismantle Texas Youth Commission

Senate passes measure to begin move into conservatorship

AUSTIN -- On Wednesday State Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) joined with his Senate colleagues in passing Senate Resolution 384, which recommends the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) be moved into conservatorship. Under the measure recommended by the Senate, the Legislative Audit Committee would convene and could recommend the Governor appoint a conservator to assume all powers and duties of the agency.

This move follows a wave of controversy surrounding the TYC in which the agency was accused of improperly covering up inappropriate behavior by commission personnel. The allegations ranged from employees viewing pornography on state computers to sexual abuse of minors in TYC facilities. This was capped when former Executive Director Dwight Harris resigned this past Friday.

Deuell, who serves on the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, heard from the acting director at a hearing on Tuesday and was not pleased with the answers.

"As a member of the Criminal Justice committee, I wanted to hear what steps TYC was taking to address these problems," Deuell said. "Like all the members, I was shocked and appalled with everything I heard and read about the agency."

"Unfortunately, the testimony given in committee did not give us any confidence in the agency's ability to continue to function on their own," Deuell said. "They have failed the state and now there should be consequences for that failure."

Senate Resolution 384 unanimously passed the Senate on a vote of 30-0.