Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst

District 18 State Senator Lois Kolkhorst is asking Texas Governor Greg Abbott to close down the Five Oaks Residential Treatment Center in New Ulm.

Kolkhorst, in a letter to Abbott, cited numerous concerns over security at the facility for troubled youths and the safety of the public.

Kolkhorst talked about the recent case of arson, involving a New Ulm area home and numerous runaways from the center.

The state senator says she recently attended a town hall meeting with citizens, state and local officials, local law enforcement and officials of Five Oaks, and says she was “alarmed” over the “comments by many residents that they were resorting to firearms to protect their property and family.”

Kolkhorst cited, what she calls: “…a long history of life and safety deficiencies, including a child’s death in 2010.”  “A great danger to to public safety for both the children and surrounding residents.”  “If swift action is not taken, I fear that lives are at risk.”  And, 59 state licensure deficiencies in the past two years.

Kolkhorst also expressed concerns to the Governor over, “the dangers these children face outside the facility”, which she says is “counterintuitive” to protecting the children’s lives.

Kolkhorst went on to urge Governor Abbott to close down Five Oaks for what she says is, “putting profits above the safety of our children and their community.”

The Austin County Sheriff's Office sent out an email at 1:00 PM Wednesday (four hours after emailing out Kolkhorst's letter) saying that they were not authorized to release the information.  KWHI has removed the copy of Kolkhorst's letter from this story.

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