Saturday, April 20, 2013

Region 3 Clemens unit Officer charged with having offenders baby

By Michael Williams, Backgate Website

EX-TDCJ Clemens unit Officer Amber Purkey has been charged with inappropriate sexual contact with an offender after having a child which she admits to have been fathered by an offender she was charged with confining. Purkey was employed by the TDCJ at the Clemens unit in Brazoria up until a few months ago after the charges were investigated by the agencies law enforcement branch the office of inspector general (OIG).

The Brazoria County DA's office released information that a grand jury indicted Purkey on the charge this month and subsequently issued a felony warrant for her arrest. Law Enforcement Officers from the Sweeny Police department along with the Brazoria county Sheriff's office attempted to serve the warrant over the past few days but were unsuccessful.

Purkey untilmately turned herself in yesterday, bailing out under a 75,000 dollar bond. Purkey faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the crime. The father of the baby is still incarcerated at an undisclosed prison facility. We will keep you informed as to the sentence imposed as the time comes. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Estelle Officer dies in one vehicle accident while headed in to work overtime

Photo courtesy of KHOU TV Houston
By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website

A male TDCJ Estelle unit Correctional Officer was pronounced dead at the scene of a one car accident last week after his car slammed into a concrete pole on an underpass. The accident occurred at North loop and TC Jester just before midnight Monday after the vehicle pulled out of a gas station, lost control, and hit the concrete barrier. The unidentified Officer was employed as a Correctional Officer at the Estelle unit and unconfirmed sources within the victims family stated that he was enroute to the unit to work overtime before his scheduled shift to avoid being mandated after his regular shift. The Estelle unit in Huntsville is just one of many critically understaffed units in the state where overtime is mandated for employees who will face disciplinary action if they refuse. Several Officers statewide have faced a similar fate after working mandated overtime, and there seems to be no end in site.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ex-TDCJ PIO Lyons heads to trial with lawsuit alleging retaliation by TDCJ

Michelle Lyons
By Doug Glass, Backgate Website

Ex-TDCJ Public Information Officer Michelle Lyons, who worked for the prison system for nearly 14 years before being constructively terminated almost a year ago, may be closer to her day in court. Lyons, who was removed from her position within the agency after voicing concerns about the agencies time keeping protocol, was moved to another department and punished for speaking out. Lyons later emailed us here at the Backgate regarding those issues and was subsequently disciplined for that as well. After being charged with yet another disciplinary unfairly, Lyons decided  to resign her position with the TDCJ. She applied for benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and was denied after a hearing was conducted with the TDCJ regarding her "resignation". TDCJ enlisted an attorney from the office of general counsel (OGC) to assist the state in fighting the request for benefits from Ms. Lyons.

This is to our knowledge the first time TDCJ has enlisted an OGC attorney to fight against the agency paying unemployment benefits to an employee. All other hearings are fought by unit level administrators or department managers over the phone with the TWC. Why bring out the big guns  unless your trying to prove a point, or use the denial as a means of retribution or retaliation? The TWC subsequently denied her claim. Ms. Lyons filed an appeal and the TWC board found that she did in fact meet the criteria for being constructively fired by the agency, and implemented her benefits.

We received information from Michelle today that stated that the TDCJ has elected to go forward, refusing to settle, and proceed to trial.  In choosing to ignore their obvious wrongdoing in the matter, TDCJ has now decided to use thousands in state tax payer funds to defend itself against it's own blatant corruption and unfair practices towards it's own employees. It seems to be easier to proceed and fight a losing battle when the money you play with isn't yours. At this point there is no word on when the trial may begin, but both parties are in the process of being deposed in preparation for the trial. We will be front and center when and if a trial does move forward. And to all of you Texas tax payers out there tired of seeing your hard earned tax dollars being flushed down the toilet because a state agency wants to bully it's employees into submission, email or call your local representative and let them know how you feel.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Texas Aryan Brotherhood gang possibly linked to killing of Kaufman county DA and his wife

District Attorney McClelland and his wife

By Doug Glass, Backgate Website

Law enforcement officials aren't saying it publicly, but the Texas Aryan Brotherhood gang that originated in Texas prisons and then later moved onto the streets as being strong suspects. The Aryan Brotherhood is believed to have been formed in San Quentin state prison, California, in the 1960s. But Clark said the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is run autonomously and not linked to the wider group. The ABT, or Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, is well represented in the Texas prison system and is responsible for some of the most violent acts imaginable.

Texas congressman Ted Poe, a former judge and prosecutor, said on Tuesday that he believed "the Aryan Brotherhood" would be behind the killings, although he did not specifically identify the ABT. Perhaps most damningly, the Texas Department of Public Safety had issued a statewide bulletin warning in December that the ABT was "actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials" who helped secure the 34 indictments in Houston. Kaufman County's district attorney's office was among the agencies on the case.

The governor said the FBI and the Texas Rangers are assisting the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department with the investigation. Judge Wood said several county officials are under protection and district attorney's offices in Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties all confirmed that they've enacted extra security precautions, while declining to discuss specifics.

So just who are the Texas Aryan Brotherhood ?