Halfway house director resigns amid client sexual accusations
The Ellis County Press
BOYCE – The director of an Ellis County halfway house told his clients Thursday, Dec. 3, he is leaving after a dozen clients accused him of making unwanted sexual advances, allegations he vehemently denies and leaving the myriad of satellite homes in unincorporated areas between Waxahachie and Ennis unattended.
"Those [allegations] are about 99 percent [expletive]," said Richard Jackson, who runs Kevin’s House, the halfway house county probation department officials send habitual drug users, sex offenders and others with patchy criminal records to.
Jackson, who denied the allegations when they were first brought forth last year, is heard on an audio recording talking about local Internet blogs featuring anonymous comments from clients alleging him of making advances towards them.
The halfway house is an all-male environment, but others have accused Jackson of threatening clients with probation department "write-ups" for coming forward.
Ellis County probation department officials either declined comment or denied the accusations against Jackson were true. The head of the county’s probation structure, 40th District Judge Gene Knize, announced two weeks ago he would not run for re-election, marking the first time in 24 years Ellis County will see a new 40th District judge.
"During my stay [at Kevins House], I have seen numerous fringe advances on various clients," said one former client who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.
"He [Richard Jackson] is a touchy-feely type of guy and CAN [emphasis his] make things very uncomfortable for you in certain scenarios. Massages and shoulder rubs.
"Also, there are a number of young clients that get special attention or seem to be favorited. Somewhat singled out and isolated. He will hold sessions in his office for prolonged periods of time. Something just doesn’t add up with the house and a crooked feeling surrounds it."
Darren Ellis, a former house director at Kevins House, also confirmed the allegations against Jackson.
"About 18 months ago, 30 pages of criminal allegations ranging from sexual impropriety, conspiracy, blackmail, racketeering, fraud and a host of over crimes ranging from federal violations to state [first, second, third] degree felonies were hand carried to the FBI, Attorney General, Texas Rangers, [Department of Public Safety], Ellis County [Sheriffs Office], Ellis County prosecutor and the Waxahachie police," Ellis said.
"Hard paper copies and file on [CD-ROM.] No one wanted to hear it. Not a single question was ever asked. Dates were given. Names were named. Corroborating witnesses were named. No one cared.
"The judicial system in Ellis County is corrupt! Mr. Jackson conspired with the ruling district judge, the director of the probation department and numerous probation officers that I know, for more than three years!
"I was there that long. The principle of the program is good, make no mistake. I didn’t have to be there for my last year or so. Its what you make of it, you either want to be clean and sober, or you don’t.
"The management is CORRUPT [emphasis his.] Mr. Jackson manipulated clients on countless occasions in front of me in his office.
"Clients were sent to spend weekends in jail because they went to check in at the probation department and didn’t have [a] key tag on their person."
Ellis, who was on staff and coordinated activities, schedules and drove the Kevins House vehicles transporting clients to and from work and the probation department, said he would verify the allegations in court if he had to.
"I am currently a resident at the Kevins House," said another client who requested to remain anonymous. "I do know a lot of [expletive] that goes on here.
"A lot of it is true. We are under very poor living conditions. We do not eat worth a [expletive.] It is hard to maintain with all the money that we have to pay here. We all [residents at K.H.] feel that K.H., probation, and the Counseling Center of Ellis County are a small racketeering act.
"Probation sends us here, and K.H. sends us to the counseling center. We spend money at every last one. I have witnessed Richard rubbing and groping clients.
"But not just any client, its always the young Caucasian males. Typically from ages 18 through 22. They tend to be slim, boyish, and easily directed…We go to probation about it but they don’t seem to [care.]
"Some officers send us off with the statement, Try your best not to get caught up in the [expletive] that goes on there."
Full disclosure: The Ellis County Press requested several clients to wear audio recording devices inside Kevin’s House in group and individual meetings with Jackson.