State agency seeing whether center is complying with regulations
Four investigators are in EI Paso today to examine the operation of a controversial drug rehabilitation center. The team of investigators from the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Austin came to El Paso on Tuesday to see whether KIDS of El Paso County Inc. had corrected violations cited in January, said *** announced," *** said. The team will take as long as it needs to complete the investigation, which includes interviewing clients and staff and inspecting the center, she said. On Jan. 21, the commission reported that KIDS would lose its license April 12 unless it complied with state regulations. The commission cited 56 violations in a seven-page report. "The commission's findings were the result of an investigation prompted by complaints filed against KIDS by former clients, parents of clients and a local attorney. KIDS was accused of mistreating, neglecting and physically and emotionally abusing its clients. The commission also said clients were being held against their will and that they were not provided a safe and humane environment. The commission is a licensing agency. KIDS must abide by certain rules to keep its license. KIDS treats young people with drug and alcohol dependency problems, as well as those with eating disorders or behavioral problems. It has 120 clients, most of whom are addicted to drugs, KIDS director ***said Tuesday. The investigators arrived four days after the commission refused to accept KIDS' appeal of the earlier ruling, *** said. ***, who had refused to speak to reporters since the commission released its report, made a statement in a news release distributed Saturday by a public relations firm. He said KIDS wanted to appeal because the commission did not give KIDS an opportunity to challenge its findings before making a decision. But, *** said, "There is nothing to rebut at this time. If the license is revoked, then center will have a right to appeal and request a formal administrative hearing where both sides can present their evidence." The investigators will report their findings to the commission's executive director, ***, and he will decide whether KIDS will keep or lose its license, *** said. *** said that if the commission revokes the center's license, KIDS will renew its appeal. AT A GLANCE THE TEXAS Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse received complaints in March, April and May 1987, that KIDS was physically and emotionally abusing clients.
JANUARY 21 - The commission reports KIDS of El Paso County Inc. will lose its license unless it corrects 56 violations.
MARCH 11 - KIDS appeals license revocation.
MARCH 22 - Commission investigators visit KIDS unannounced.
APRIL 12 - KIDS will lose its license unless commission says it has eliminated deficiencies.