AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has been stripped of five days’ pay and warned he could lose his job after his boss said he didn’t follow orders to stop discussing the police shooting of an unarmed teen.
City Manager Marc Ott says Acevedo had been insubordinate, according to documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1SsVHt9 ). In the aftermath of the February shooting, Acevedo made comments that the police union says showed he had prejudged the case and perhaps violated the officer’s right to a fair investigation.
In an April 15 memo, Ott said Acevedo could be fired for future misjudgment. He also cited concerns unrelated to the shooting regarding Acevedo’s judgment and operation in August 2011. The documents show years of strain between Ott and Acevedo as well as dissatisfaction for the police chief among some in city management.
Acevedo said in a statement Tuesday that he disagrees with Ott and the Austin Police Association about his public remarks.
“I acted in the best interests of the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, and community after a tragic incident that cost a young life and ended a police officer’s career,” he wrote. “While I disagree with the manager’s reprimand, I recognize his right to exercise that authority. The manager and I have worked together for nearly nine years. Disagreements are inevitable. I look forward to putting this behind us and continuing a productive partnership.”
In September, Ott gave Acevedo a 5-percent pay raise and a new separation agreement granting up to six months of severance pay should he be terminated.