Austin police monitor's office vows legal action over lack of contract

New developments tonight in a dispute about whether Austin city officials can keep operating their police monitor's office with no contract with its officers in place. The police union is now vowing legal action against the city.

AUSTIN - The Austin police monitor's office is now vowing legal action against the City as it operates with no contract in place with its officers.

The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas -- which represents the Austin police union -- insists that the City is breaking the law and violating officers' rights by keeping the monitor's office operating the way it always has.

 And Thursday, they again said they won't stand for it.

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Austin's police monitor office could become subject of legal dispute

A new letter to the City from the union said, "The Austin Police Association has worked successfully and tirelessly to set an example regarding transparency and accountability in law enforcement ...The Office of the Police Monitor is a civilian operation and the City will be in violation of the law if you continue to carry out this intended course."

At issue is whether civilians can attend confidential interviews with police officers in internal affairs investigations and whether they can see documents involving those cases before they are resolved.

The City believes they can legally do so without a contract in place.

But police said those terms were negotiated, and that with no contract in place, it's no longer allowed.

The police contract expired on Dec. 29.

The City is standing its ground though, meaning that this fight is likely headed to a lawsuit and then to the courtroom.

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