AUSTIN, TX - TX DPS:
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today announced that as the result of an investigation directed by Governor Greg Abbott, arrest warrants have been issued for five current or former employees at Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) facilities. Four suspects were arrested today. One suspect remains at large and may be out of state.
The charges and arrests are the result of an ongoing, joint investigation by the Texas Rangers, the TJJD Office of Inspector General, and the TJJD Special Prosecution Unit into alleged misconduct at TJJD.
The charges included two felony allegations: tampering with a governmental record resulting from a false entry for leave and theft by a public servant. In addition, four Class A misdemeanor charges of official oppression were filed related to allegations of excessive force against juveniles in state custody.
The suspects arrested today included:
- Derrick Goodman, 56, charged with official oppression. Goodman was arrested at the TJJD facility in Gainesville, where he was employed. He was booked into the Cooke County Jail.
- Shannon Hoaglen, 41, charged with official oppression. Hoaglen was arrested at the TJJD facility in Gainesville, where he was employed. He was booked into the Cooke County Jail.
- Derrick Day, 39, charged with official oppression. Day formerly worked at the TJJD facility in Gainesville. He was arrested in Gainesville and was booked into the Cooke County Jail.
- Morsello Hooker, 31, charged with official oppression. Hooker formerly worked at the TJJD facility in Brownwood. He was arrested in Brownwood and was booked into the Brown County Jail.
To read the December 2017 letter from Gov. Abbott to DPS Director Steven McCraw originally requesting that the Texas Rangers open an investigation into TJJD, visit: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/McCraw_Steven_Letter20171213.pdf.
Governor Abbott released a statement following the announcement by DPS. According to a press release from Abbott, the arrests made today come after he directed the Texas Rangers to investigate reports of sexual misconduct and inappropriate relationships at TJJD facilities on Dec. 13, 2017.
"Misconduct on the part of employees entrusted with the responsibility of protecting our youth will not be tolerated," said Governor Abbott. "Today's announcement is one of many steps being taken to ensure that employees at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department are held accountable for their actions, and I am pleased with the progress being made. While there is still much more that needs to be done, and these investigations are ongoing, I am confident that justice will be served. I thank the Texas Rangers and the Department of Public Safety for their swift action."