AUSTIN, Texas - A former senior state district judge has been named the new head of the Texas child welfare agency.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission appointed Judge John J. Specia Jr. on Tuesday to be commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
He succeeds Howard Baldwin, who resigned last week amid a criminal investigation of an Abilene-based office's handling of the death of a malnourished toddler.
The toddler's mother contends she was too stressed by her husband's deployment to care for her children.
Four agency workers, including three in Abilene, are on leave while police investigate possible evidence tampering in the death of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke.
She was found unresponsive in her home at Dyess Air Force Base. Her mother, Tiffany Nicole Klapheke, faces three child injury charges.
- Updated Photo of Abilene veteran and his service dog goes viral
- Updated Justin Ross Harris sentenced to life for son's hot-car death
- 1 dead after 2 vehicles go into water-filled Texas sinkhole
- Iraan grad rounding up support from Texas cheerleaders after deadly bus crash
- Oakland fire death toll at 36, likely to climb as investigation continues
- 1 killed in crash on I-20 involving bus carrying high school cheerleaders
- Goodfellows spread holiday cheer in Sweetwater with toy drive
- Rangers turn completed Brown Co. Attorney investigation over to feds
- Ballinger man arrested for ramming multiple patrol cars
- Thousands attend Brownwood Christmas parade