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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Acevedo found in violation of city code
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano
Monday night, the city’s Ethics Review Commission found that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was in violation of city code when he failed to submit a 2012 personal finance report by the required deadline. Commissioners opted not to send on the matter to the city attorney for prosecution, but will let the office know about the outcome. The vote was unanimous, with Chair Austin Kaplan recused. The commission additionally voted to send out a letter of notification, which recognizes that the violation was unintentional. That motion also passed unanimously, with an additional direction to get written confirmation of filings in the future. The complaint against Acevedo was filed by former Austin police officer Jermaine Hopkins. During Monday’s hearing, Hopkins urged commissioners to impose the maximum punishment on Acevedo. Hopkins also said that the fact that Acevedo was not present but participating by phone suggested he wasn’t taking the process seriously. “I don’t know how many times we are going to allow him to keep rendering these public apologies and let him get away with it,” said Hopkins. “It’s to the point now where he feels like he is immune to any disciplinary action.” Hopkins was fired by Acevedo on Oct. 30 for failing to follow orders and other violations of department policy, according to the Austin Police Department. His dismissal is currently on appeal. Acevedo’s attorney, Keith Campbell, said his client would have been at the meeting but was on business in Washington, D.C., “for the good of the city.” Acevedo’s assistant Janet De La Rosa testified that she submitted the document, and when she couldn’t print the form, she called the Office of the City Clerk twice but never got through. Campbell said that it was interesting to note that Acevedo’s 2012 report was handwritten. The reason for that, he explained, was “he didn’t trust that rascal filing system.”
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