AUSTIN – An Austin police sergeant has been fired after Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said he lied to his superiors and used vacation to work off-duty patrol shifts during South by Southwest.
According to an 11-page disciplinary memo, Sgt. Richard Davis received an indefinite suspension in July 21. The memo states Davis’ Special Response Team would be deployed during SXSW on March 17-18, and that Davis told his superiors he would be out of town with his family for spring break.
The memo states Davis’ platoon leader and an APD commander observed Davis working “on a private, secondary-employment contract for the SXSW Safety Team” on one of the dates Davis said he would be unavailable.
Davis also worked “at least 80 overtime hours” from March 12-18, violating APD policy that prohibits officers from working “in excess of 76 combined regular duty, department overtime, and LERE hours per week without approval from their commander.” LERE is defined in the memo as “Law Enforcement Related Employment.”
During an Internal Affairs investigation, the memo says Davis provided false statements.
“Sadly, rather than simply taking responsibility by telling the truth during the course of this investigation to give me incentive to forgo my right to indefinitely suspend him, Sergeant Davis chose to continuously attempt to offer “exculpatory evidence” during and after the conclusion of the investigation that substantiated the truth and corroborated his deception,” Manley wrote in the memo. “Therefore, Sergeant Davis leaves me with no choice but to indefinitely suspend him.”
The memo does state Davis has the option of appealing his firing.