A police chief with a history of problems is being recycled from one cushy job to another, according to city reports.
Condolences to the Bayou City: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has accepted a job as the Houston Police Chief. Although a start date for his new job has not yet been announced, Mayor Turner is scheduled to make the announcement around 2 p.m. today.
Acevedo leaves the Capital City as yet another milestone in his legacy of disgrace. He was pressured to leave the California Highway Patrol in 2007 following a sexual harassment lawsuit from a woman who allegedly had an affair with him. Afterwards, he was snatched up by the City of Austin and hired as Police Chief.
In his nearly decade-long tenure in Austin, Acevedo has been pockmarked with rocky relationships and controversies. It is well known that Acevedo had a difficult working relationship with City Manager Marc Ott – Acevedo has been reprimanded several times for disobeying orders, including having his pay docked for speaking out about ongoing investigations to officers when told not to.
In 2014, he exacerbated community relations for a tone-deaf comment in which he defended his officers for slamming a 19-year-old woman on the pavement for jaywalking, saying that sexual abuse by officers in other cities made his officers look good by comparison.
Despite his tendency to constantly put his foot in his mouth, Acevedo has not shied away from the public spotlight, and frequently grandstands for liberal causes. Last year, he testified against both open carry and campus carry. He caught flak for his comments on the latter, in which he stated that it would be better for a sexual assault victim to undergo counseling following an incident than have had the ability to defend oneself in the first place.
Acevedo did briefly voice support for ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, testifying at an Austin City Council meeting on how the services led to a substantial decrease in DWI offenses. However, during the Prop 1 campaign over ridesharing regulations Acevedo forced organizers supporting the measure to remove any reference to his statements on the issue.
Further underscoring his liberal inconsistency when it comes to public safety, Acevedo has also publicly opposed measures that would strengthen cooperation with federal authorities on matters pertaining to illegal immigration, such as a ban on sanctuary cities.
There is no word yet on who will be his replacement, although it is likely that the Austin establishment will appoint someone just as bad or worse to take his place.
The unfortunate truth with appointed officials is that they are not held accountable by elections – Acevedo’s unpopularity with his community and history of controversy merely demonstrates why such a powerful position should be subject to the will of voters – not the whim of municipal bureaucrats.