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Special executive session on cops?

Thursday, April 30, 2020 by Jo Clifton

Mayor Steve Adler announced on the City Council Message Board Tuesday that Council needed to have an executive session to talk about “personnel issues related to the Lisa Tatum report” and “legal issues related to the recent APD officer-involved shooting.” (The Tatum report investigated allegations of racism in the Austin Police Department.) Adler’s colleagues responded that they would prefer to meet this Friday rather than next Tuesday because of the “critical and time-sensitive nature of the subject,” as Council Member Kathie Tovo put it. But the posting for this Friday’s 3 p.m. executive session makes no mention of police matters. Instead, Council is to discuss “the employment, duties and evaluation of the city manager.” Under the city charter, the city manager is responsible for hiring and firing the police chief, as well as almost all other city employees. April is not the usual time for Council to evaluate the city manager; that is usually done during the summer. However, although City Council is not legally allowed to fire Chief Brian Manley, Council members are allowed to express their opinions and let the manager take it from there. It has been a rough couple of weeks for Manley and it doesn’t look like things are about to get better. Council is also scheduled to discuss legal issues related to the city’s response to Covid-19.

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