Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New fight club allegations at Texas State School false, authorities say

From The AP:

AUSTIN, Texas — Two new allegations of fighting among residents at the Corpus Christi State School were false, according to Texas Inspector General Bart Bevers.

One allegation said residents fought last week as an employee photographed the fight and the other claimed that employees locked themselves in a room during a fight. Bevers said both statements had been found to be untrue, according to an online report March 24 in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services said the 10 employees who were placed on administrative leave after the new allegations surfaced were still off work while a Department of Family and Protective Services investigation was being conducted.

The new allegations were made after six current and former employees at the school were being charged earlier this month with injury to a disabled person over separate fights allegedly organized for the staff's entertainment. Four of the workers were arrested and authorities sought two others. They were accused of having been nearby when fights occurred but not intervening.

Officials from the Department of Aging and Disability Services have acknowledged that workers sometimes make false and anonymous complaints to avoid working long hours.

Video of the earlier fights were shown at a Corpus Christi bond hearing March 21 for Timothy Dixon, a former employee accused of staging the bouts. Dixon, 30, is among the staffers facing charges. State officials, local police and the FBI are investigating the allegations of the staged fights.

Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said Adult Protective Services would continue abuse and neglect investigations at the school, the Austin American-Statesman reported March 25 in its online edition.