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Tony Plohetski

Investigative reporter

Tony Plohetski has been a reporter for the American-Statesman since 2000 and focuses on Austin city government, law enforcement and criminal justice issues. He has chronicled the fallout of controversial police shootings and written about how police labor contracts have allowed officers to cash in thousands of hours in unused sick time upon retirement, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Most recently, he has exposed flaws in testing of firefighter job applicants and reported on a relatively high rate of DWI case dismissals in Travis County and a staff shortage at Austin's 911 center. He has been recognized by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the American Society of Sunday and Feature Editors. 

Latest from Tony Plohetski

All Ford police SUVs likely to be taken off street, city officials say
 City officials have said it is likely inevitable that the Austin Police Department will have to take its entire fleet of 400 Ford Police Interceptor sport utility vehicles off the streets amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the passenger compartments. Officials said the move, which is considered a drastic step for the Police Department...

Posted: a day ago

City officials have said it is likely inevitable that the Austin Police Department will have to take its entire fleet of 400 Ford Police Interceptor sport utility vehicles off the streets amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the passenger compartments. Officials said the move, which is considered a drastic step for the Police Department...
Austin parks 60 police SUVs as Ford says it’s not to blame
 Austin city officials have now pulled 60 Austin police patrol Ford sport utility vehicles from the street because of carbon monoxide concerns as Ford Motor Co. pushes back against an officer’s lawsuit claiming the company was responsible for exposing him to the poisonous gas. As federal testing on the 60 cars continued Tuesday...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin city officials have now pulled 60 Austin police patrol Ford sport utility vehicles from the street because of carbon monoxide concerns as Ford Motor Co. pushes back against an officer’s lawsuit claiming the company was responsible for exposing him to the poisonous gas. As federal testing on the 60 cars continued Tuesday...
Austin parks 60 police SUVs as Ford says it’s not to blame
 Austin city officials have now pulled 60 Austin police patrol Ford sport utility vehicles from the street because of carbon monoxide concerns as Ford Motor Co. pushes back against an officer’s lawsuit claiming the company was responsible for exposing him to the poisonous gas. As federal testing on the 60 cars continued Tuesday...

Posted: 2 days ago

Austin city officials have now pulled 60 Austin police patrol Ford sport utility vehicles from the street because of carbon monoxide concerns as Ford Motor Co. pushes back against an officer’s lawsuit claiming the company was responsible for exposing him to the poisonous gas. As federal testing on the 60 cars continued Tuesday...
CHIEF BLASTS BILL: Bathroom measure won’t make us safe, Manley says
 11:15 a.m. update: Austin police Chief Brian Manley joined top police leaders from across the state on Tuesday to speak against “bathroom bills” that would require people to use public bathrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificate. Mayor Steve Adler opened the news conference on the steps of the Texas...

Posted: 2 days ago

11:15 a.m. update: Austin police Chief Brian Manley joined top police leaders from across the state on Tuesday to speak against “bathroom bills” that would require people to use public bathrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificate. Mayor Steve Adler opened the news conference on the steps of the Texas...
Feds arrive to inspect Austin police fleet in carbon monoxide case
 Inspectors for Ford Motor Co. and investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration arrived in Austin on Monday and will be here this week trying to figure out what is causing carbon monoxide to leak into police sport utility vehicles. The visit will be the second time officials have traveled to Austin since the city in...

Posted: 3 days ago

Inspectors for Ford Motor Co. and investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration arrived in Austin on Monday and will be here this week trying to figure out what is causing carbon monoxide to leak into police sport utility vehicles. The visit will be the second time officials have traveled to Austin since the city in...
EXCLUSIVE: Feds arrive to inspect APD fleet in carbon monoxide case
 Inspectors for Ford Motor Company and investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be on the ground in Austin this week trying to figure out what is causing carbon monoxide to leak into police sport utility vehicles, city officials confirmed to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV Sunday. The visit will be...

Posted: 4 days ago

Inspectors for Ford Motor Company and investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be on the ground in Austin this week trying to figure out what is causing carbon monoxide to leak into police sport utility vehicles, city officials confirmed to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV Sunday. The visit will be...
GREG KELLEY CASE: Johnathan McCarty accused of assaulting 4 women
 ohnathan McCarty — who prosecutors say is an alternative suspect in a child sex crime that led to another man’s conviction — is now being investigated amid accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted four women, according to newly obtained court documents and confirmed by prosecutors. A filing this week in Williamson County...

Posted: 6 days ago

ohnathan McCarty — who prosecutors say is an alternative suspect in a child sex crime that led to another man’s conviction — is now being investigated amid accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted four women, according to newly obtained court documents and confirmed by prosecutors. A filing this week in Williamson County...
GREG KELLEY CASE: Johnathan McCarty accused of assaulting 4 women
 Johnathan McCarty — who prosecutors say is an alternative suspect in a child sex crime that led to another man’s conviction — is now being investigated amid accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted four women, according to newly obtained court documents and confirmed by prosecutors. A filing this week in Williamson...

Posted: 6 days ago

Johnathan McCarty — who prosecutors say is an alternative suspect in a child sex crime that led to another man’s conviction — is now being investigated amid accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted four women, according to newly obtained court documents and confirmed by prosecutors. A filing this week in Williamson...
IN-DEPTH: Greg Kelley case puts spotlight on questionable Cedar Park PD work
 When Greg Kelley appears in court next month, his lawyers will claim the Cedar Park Police Department bungled his case so badly that their client never had a fair shot in the criminal justice system. The odds were stacked against the former Leander High School football player from the very beginning, they say, because a detective did not...

Posted: 6 days ago

When Greg Kelley appears in court next month, his lawyers will claim the Cedar Park Police Department bungled his case so badly that their client never had a fair shot in the criminal justice system. The odds were stacked against the former Leander High School football player from the very beginning, they say, because a detective did not...
Greg Kelley case puts spotlight on questionable Cedar Park PD work
 When Greg Kelley appears in court next month, his lawyers will claim the Cedar Park Police Department bungled his case so badly that their client never had a fair shot in the criminal justice system. The odds were stacked against the former Leander High School football player from the very beginning, they say, because a detective did not...

Posted: 6 days ago

When Greg Kelley appears in court next month, his lawyers will claim the Cedar Park Police Department bungled his case so badly that their client never had a fair shot in the criminal justice system. The odds were stacked against the former Leander High School football player from the very beginning, they say, because a detective did not...
2 more Austin officers hospitalized due to carbon monoxide exposure, official says
 Two additional Austin officers were hospitalized Wednesday due to possible carbon monoxide exposure, the Austin police union president said. The recently installed carbon monoxide sensors went off in the officers’ police vehicle Wednesday evening, and they were taken to Dell Seton Medical Center to be checked out, President Ken Casaday...

Posted: 8 days ago

Two additional Austin officers were hospitalized Wednesday due to possible carbon monoxide exposure, the Austin police union president said. The recently installed carbon monoxide sensors went off in the officers’ police vehicle Wednesday evening, and they were taken to Dell Seton Medical Center to be checked out, President Ken Casaday...