After Backlash, Art Acevedo Refuses Job

Council was not happy about decision to hire the former APD chief

Then-APD Chief Art Acevedo at a Police Lives Matter rally in 2015 (Photo by John Anderson)

Well that didn’t last long.

After news broke Friday afternoon that former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was returning to City Hall to take on a new executive job created for him by Interim City Manager Jesús Garza, Acevedo tweeted Tuesday, Jan. 23, that he would not accept the position.

The announcement marks the conclusion of a whirlwind four-day period during which City Council members pushed back aggressively against Garza’s decision to hire Acevedo, who in 2016 left Austin in disgrace as news was breaking that the Austin Police Department failed survivors of sexual assault in a myriad ways under his leadership. In 2021, Acevedo was forced out of his job as Houston’s chief of police in the aftermath of a botched drug raid.

Acevedo’s attempt at a second chapter in Austin may be over for him (for now), but it won’t be for Garza. Council members are broadly displeased with the way the ICM went about hiring Acevedo and announcing it to them – just hours before the news became public. Yesterday, five CMs met with Garza to air their concerns about Acevedo taking the City Hall job, and next week they are expected to convene in an executive session to conduct a performance review for Garza.

This is a developing story. Pick up the Chronicle’s print issue for more.

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