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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Gilchrist Tells All

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

Rhonda Gilchrist is telling all.

She's talking about the department she encountered when hired as the Director of Juvenile Services almost two years ago.

But her predecessor tells a different story.

"In the 24 years I was chief I was never suspended by the juvenile board...Did we have problems, yes," says Former Juvenile Services Director Ernie Wentrcek.

Wentrcek says the problems are not as bad as his replacement has described.

After being fired Monday, Rhonda Gilchrist has said the department was in a state of corruption, and ethically bankrupt.

Gilchrist says the conditions upon her arrival at the center were despicable.

Tattered blankets, ripped pillows and dirty clothing had to be replaced, even though money was budgeted for it.

And then, there were the boxing gloves, she says they were used to allow children to fight, while employees took bets on the winner.

"I've terminated people who put a child in danger, and I stand by that," says Gilchrist.

But all the allegations are putting the focus on the past administration and why, if misconduct was going on, was it allowed to continue.

Wentrcek says all employee problems were addressed.

"I always acted within the policies and procedures. I corrected problems as they came to my attention," says Wentrcek.

Including sleeping on the job, and drug use during work hours.

But Gilchrist says the problems persisted because a good old boy system of politics was protecting any change.

Gilchrist says progress was cut short, when she was fired.

Gilchrist is reviewing her legal options, and says the evidence she has only scratches the surface of wrongdoing at the center.


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