Austin Police have been wrongly spending money seized during the course of investigations â€“ violating state and federal laws governing the way those dollars can be used. Who called in the budget cops? Austinâ€™s own chief of police.
According to todayâ€™s Austin American Statesman, Art Acevedo asked federal investigators to examine the use of seized monies by APD shortly after he arrived on the job. Acevedo was worried the expenditures didnâ€™t mesh with the law, and asked U.S. Treasury investigators to look over the books.
Of approximately $1 million in seized funds, nearly $400,000 was used to pay overtime for 911 operators. It seems that prior to Acevedo coming to Austin, seized funds were used to balance the departmentâ€™s books. But paying salaries wasnâ€™t all they did with the money.
According to the Statesman, â€œmoney was used for pay to clothing for the department’s running team and for coffee mugs.â€
Art Acevedo should be congratulated for not only raising the red-flag about budget problems, but for not shying away from the departmental misdeeds.
Taxpayers need more public servants like that.