The special master whom Gov. Rick Perry appointed to investigate the Texas Youth Commission said Monday that he's not authorized to order changes but is acting as a vocal advocate to overhaul the agency.
Contentious issue: Jay Kimbrough's role in the investigation has been disputed by some lawmakers since he was appointed by the governor March 2. They say the state constitution doesn't provide for a special master.
Lawmakers want: The House Corrections Committee approved a bill Monday to appoint a conservator to run the agency. A conservator would have powers and duties outlined in state law. A special master's powers are not defined. The bill's future in the House is uncertain.
Until then: For now, Mr. Kimbrough said, he's working with the authority he has. "My constitutional authority is the First Amendment. I'm talking and I'm trying to help," he said.
Reporting lines: Mr. Kimbrough reports directly to Mr. Perry and the Legislature. "Kimbrough's not carrying a badge or ordering law enforcement to do this or that," said Perry spokesman Ted Royer. "He is the point man that is making sure that nothing falls through the cracks."