From the Austin-American Statesman:
The just-arrived head of the troubled Texas Juvenile Justice Department today removed two top officials from their jobs, in what he hinted might be the first of several moves to change the agency’s course.
One of the two officials who lost their jobs — James Smith, the deputy director of state youth services — was among 11 top agency officials who received pay raises last March, at a time of budget cuts and layoffs at other agencies, in an action that drew demands from legislative to rescind the raises after the American-Statesman disclosed them.
In a message to agency employees late this afternoon, Mike Griffiths, in his first day as executive director, said he has removed Smith and Robin McKeever, the deputy executive director, effective immediately.
“I have made a decision to lead this agency in a different direction,” Griffiths wrote. “I will be decisive in implementing an organizational structure that supports effective communication, responsiveness and accountability through all levels of our department.”
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