Austin Police have been wrongly spending money seized during the course of investigations – violating state and federal laws governing the way those dollars can be used. Who called in the budget cops? Austin’s own chief of police.

According to today’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 didn’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 department’s books. But paying salaries wasn’t all they did with the money.

According to the Statesman, “money was used for pay to clothing for the department’s running team and for coffee mugs.”

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.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."