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Tony Plohetski

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

REPORT: ICE targets Austin, other ‘sanctuary cities’ to apply pressure
 A senior immigration official has told CNN that so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ — including Austin — are being targeted for increased immigration enforcement in an effort to apply political pressure on them. The CNN report is the latest development after the American-Statesman reported on Monday that federal...

Posted: 3 days ago

A senior immigration official has told CNN that so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ — including Austin — are being targeted for increased immigration enforcement in an effort to apply political pressure on them. The CNN report is the latest development after the American-Statesman reported on Monday that federal...
Judge rules lawsuit can proceed in violent arrest of Breaion King
 U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has ruled that a lawsuit against the city of Austin in the July 2015 violent arrest of teacher Breaion King can proceed and denied a request by city officials that it be thrown out. Sparks had initially dismissed the city as a defendant, saying that the lawsuit wasn’t specific enough. But King’s...

Posted: 5 days ago

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has ruled that a lawsuit against the city of Austin in the July 2015 violent arrest of teacher Breaion King can proceed and denied a request by city officials that it be thrown out. Sparks had initially dismissed the city as a defendant, saying that the lawsuit wasn’t specific enough. But King’s...
ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed
 Federal immigration officials Tuesday evening denied that a new policy by Sheriff Sally Hernandez led them to conduct a major enforcement operation in the Austin area. But, in a hint of their changing strategy, federal agents said more enforcement is needed in places such as Travis County where local authorities don’t fully cooperate...

Posted: 5 days ago

Federal immigration officials Tuesday evening denied that a new policy by Sheriff Sally Hernandez led them to conduct a major enforcement operation in the Austin area. But, in a hint of their changing strategy, federal agents said more enforcement is needed in places such as Travis County where local authorities don’t fully cooperate...
ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed
 Federal immigration officials released a statement late Tuesday, denying that they targeted Travis County in a recent operation that led to 51 arrests. However, they add that more ICE activity is needed in communities that decline to honor so-called “detainers,” as Sheriff Sally Hernandez has begun doing in most cases. Here&rsquo...

Posted: 6 days ago

Federal immigration officials released a statement late Tuesday, denying that they targeted Travis County in a recent operation that led to 51 arrests. However, they add that more ICE activity is needed in communities that decline to honor so-called “detainers,” as Sheriff Sally Hernandez has begun doing in most cases. Here&rsquo...
U.S. Judge: ICE said Austin raid was because of ‘sanctuary’ policy
 Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges. The revelation — made...

Posted: 7 days ago

Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges. The revelation — made...
U.S. judge: ICE said Austin raid was because of ‘sanctuary’ policy
 Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges. The revelation — made...

Posted: 7 days ago

Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges. The revelation — made...
Gunshots, home ‘destroyed’ at 2 short-term rentals since Thursday

Posted: 8 days ago

Austin police are investigating an early Saturday incident at a short-term rental property in which they say multiple gunshots were fired and several people were injured while trying to flee. The incident came a few days after a well-known local author and chef reported that her East Austin home was “destroyed” by short-term renters...
APD investigating shots fired at short-term rental early Saturday
 Austin police are investigating an early Saturday incident at a short-term rental property in which they say multiple gunshots were fired and several people were injured while trying to flee. Austin police Lt. Ken Hobbs said officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday at a short-term rental property at...

Posted: 8 days ago

Austin police are investigating an early Saturday incident at a short-term rental property in which they say multiple gunshots were fired and several people were injured while trying to flee. Austin police Lt. Ken Hobbs said officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday at a short-term rental property at...
Austin police officer sickened from suspected patrol car poisoning
 An Austin police sergeant nearly passed out early Saturday while driving a Ford Explorer that officials think might have released carbon monoxide gas into the passenger compartment, officials said. The officer was taken by ambulance to a hospital and was later released. Authorities described the incident as a possible vehicle malfunction...

Posted: 9 days ago

An Austin police sergeant nearly passed out early Saturday while driving a Ford Explorer that officials think might have released carbon monoxide gas into the passenger compartment, officials said. The officer was taken by ambulance to a hospital and was later released. Authorities described the incident as a possible vehicle malfunction...
APD chief considering actions after suspected patrol car poisoning
 11 a.m. update: Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said he is now looking into buying carbon monoxide detectors for patrol units after an Austin police sergeant nearly passed out early Saturday while driving a vehicle that may have released the dangerous gas inside the cabin. “I am aware of the incident and concerned about the safety...

Posted: 9 days ago

11 a.m. update: Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said he is now looking into buying carbon monoxide detectors for patrol units after an Austin police sergeant nearly passed out early Saturday while driving a vehicle that may have released the dangerous gas inside the cabin. “I am aware of the incident and concerned about the safety...
Surge in violent crimes putting Austin police on edge
 It began just before 8 p.m. March 10, when police found a man who was barely alive near a bus stop at East Seventh and Comal streets after being stabbed. Medics did their best to save 51-year-old Glen Raymond Burford and rushed him to University Medical Center Brackenridge. He died a short time later. At a time when tourists were pouring...

Posted: 10 days ago

It began just before 8 p.m. March 10, when police found a man who was barely alive near a bus stop at East Seventh and Comal streets after being stabbed. Medics did their best to save 51-year-old Glen Raymond Burford and rushed him to University Medical Center Brackenridge. He died a short time later. At a time when tourists were pouring...