Paper Seeks Records On Ex-Austin Officers

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A Texas court will consider next week whether the city of Austin is required under state open-records law to release a year’s worth of Austin Police Department time sheets and off-duty contract logs for two former officers who the city says are under investigation. The officers, who resigned this year, are employed with a private firm specializing in “homeland security” training. The Austin Chronicle, which is seeking the records, reports that questions have arisen about the financial relationship between the department, the former officers, and that company. The city says the documents are exempt from disclosure because they now involve the “detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime.”

At issue is whether officers may have “double-dipped” by collecting city pay at the same time they were working secondary, private-sector jobs. The Chronicle sought the records in March, after a commander had alleged that two officedrs had tampered with their time sheets. The officers quit shortly thereafter. The Chronicle says that the former officers “seem to have landed on their feet at Signature Science, in positions that appear remarkably similar to those they left.” The paper says the company have established profitable relationships with the city, performing training'” functions that were formerly in-house at the police department.


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