AUSTIN—Interim City Manager Jesus Garza previously announced he was creating a new assistant city manager position to help oversee and advise the police department for former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who has now said that he will not be accepting the role.
Earlier this week, Texas Scorecard reported on the effort to return Acevedo to the Austin Police Department despite his scandal-plagued tenure.
However, Acevedo released a statement on X following public backlash over his return, announcing that he will not be accepting the position.
I have and will always place the best interest of the men and women of the @Austin_Police and the people they serve first, which is why I have made the decision below. See you later this week Austin! #RelationalPolicing pic.twitter.com/gNF4fqLVDU
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) January 23, 2024
The former police chief stated that “politics and power struggles have hindered our efforts to create real positive improvements for the people of this city. I firmly believe that if we are to build a future together, we cannot afford to blame others and point fingers. This mentality has caused us to take a step back instead of building a better path forward together. That is why I have informed Interim City Manager Garza that I cannot accept this position and will pursue other opportunities.”
Acevedo’s withdrawal follows fierce public backlash from across the political spectrum.
Following Acevedo’s withdrawal, conservative Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly posted a memo to Garza where she outlined her concerns with the lack of transparency and short notice given to council members regarding the Acevedo hire.
I hand-delivered a memo to the Interim City Manager, addressing concerns about transparency in personnel changes. The memo emphasizes the need for open communication and timely notice. Read it here: pic.twitter.com/PNV7tO8hlp
— Mackenzie Kelly (@mkelly007) January 23, 2024
In the memo, Kelly states “transparency is paramount in maintaining public trust and fostering a collaborative environment between the city council and the city manager’s office. We need sufficient information and lead time to contribute meaningfully to decisions impacting the city and its residents.”
The position, which had been specially created for Acevedo, will likely be discontinued.