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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

Greg Kelley’s sex abuse trial, like many, hinged on one child’s word
 When Greg Kelley went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of 
               super aggravated sexual assault
            , it was on the word of a 5-year-old child. There was no eyewitness, no physical evidence, no confession. But when the little boy told his story of molestation at a Cedar Park in-home day care center, he told it in graphic...

Posted: 3 days ago

When Greg Kelley went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of super aggravated sexual assault , it was on the word of a 5-year-old child. There was no eyewitness, no physical evidence, no confession. But when the little boy told his story of molestation at a Cedar Park in-home day care center, he told it in graphic...
Greg Kelley’s sex abuse trial, like many, hinged on one child’s word
 When Greg Kelley went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of super aggravated sexual assault, it was on the word of a 5-year-old child. There was no eyewitness, no physical evidence, no confession. But when the little boy told his story of molestation at a Cedar Park in-home day care, he told it in graphic detail. The jury believed him...

Posted: 3 days ago

When Greg Kelley went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of super aggravated sexual assault, it was on the word of a 5-year-old child. There was no eyewitness, no physical evidence, no confession. But when the little boy told his story of molestation at a Cedar Park in-home day care, he told it in graphic detail. The jury believed him...
How a possible suspect was ignored in Greg Kelley sex assault case
 Cedar Park police detectives never questioned a man who has emerged as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 4-year-old and instead focused their investigation solely on Greg Kelley, whose subsequent conviction is now being called into question. But Johnathan McCarty’s name came up numerous times during the investigation which, according...

Posted: 3 days ago

Cedar Park police detectives never questioned a man who has emerged as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 4-year-old and instead focused their investigation solely on Greg Kelley, whose subsequent conviction is now being called into question. But Johnathan McCarty’s name came up numerous times during the investigation which, according...
How a possible suspect was ignored in Greg Kelley sex assault case
 Cedar Park police detectives never questioned a man who has emerged as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 4-year-old and instead focused their investigation solely on Greg Kelley, whose subsequent conviction is now being called into question. But Johnathan McCarty’s name came up numerous times during the investigation which,...

Posted: 3 days ago

Cedar Park police detectives never questioned a man who has emerged as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 4-year-old and instead focused their investigation solely on Greg Kelley, whose subsequent conviction is now being called into question. But Johnathan McCarty’s name came up numerous times during the investigation which,...
Greg Kelley supporters, Cedar Park police react to reopening of case
 Earlier: Greg Kelley’s girlfriend, Gaebri Anderson, said during a telephone interview Thursday morning that she was relieved and excited that there was another suspect in the case. “I’m at a loss for words,” she said. “I’ve waited for this for so long and I can’t wait for the truth to come out and...

Posted: 4 days ago

Earlier: Greg Kelley’s girlfriend, Gaebri Anderson, said during a telephone interview Thursday morning that she was relieved and excited that there was another suspect in the case. “I’m at a loss for words,” she said. “I’ve waited for this for so long and I can’t wait for the truth to come out and...
Document names Greg Kelley’s friend as new suspect in child sex case
 A newly unsealed court document written by Greg Kelley’s defense team identifies Kelley’s friend — Johnathan McCarty — as the suspect accused of sexually assaulting a child at an in-home daycare. Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick confirmed to the American-Statesman that McCarty is under investigation and...

Posted: 4 days ago

A newly unsealed court document written by Greg Kelley’s defense team identifies Kelley’s friend — Johnathan McCarty — as the suspect accused of sexually assaulting a child at an in-home daycare. Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick confirmed to the American-Statesman that McCarty is under investigation and...
DA reopens Greg Kelley sex assault case, names new suspect
 Three years ago, before a courtroom full of sobbing supporters, a Williamson County jury deemed Greg Kelley guilty of sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy at a Cedar Park day care. Family and friends insisted he was innocent, a victim of bad policing and a misguided prosecution. Critics believed the former football star was guilty and that his...

Posted: 4 days ago

Three years ago, before a courtroom full of sobbing supporters, a Williamson County jury deemed Greg Kelley guilty of sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy at a Cedar Park day care. Family and friends insisted he was innocent, a victim of bad policing and a misguided prosecution. Critics believed the former football star was guilty and that his...
Austin trustee candidate lapsed in filing taxes, paying child support
 The likely front-runner to fill a vacated Austin school board seat failed to file his income taxes for several years and lapsed in paying child support for months, both which resulted in liens against him, records show. Seton Healthcare Family executive Geronimo Rodriguez Jr., who is seeking to represent South Austin in the District 6 seat...

Posted: 5 days ago

The likely front-runner to fill a vacated Austin school board seat failed to file his income taxes for several years and lapsed in paying child support for months, both which resulted in liens against him, records show. Seton Healthcare Family executive Geronimo Rodriguez Jr., who is seeking to represent South Austin in the District 6 seat...
New squad will take up hundreds of Austin’s delayed rape investigations
 Last fall, amid growing pressure from victims and advocates, Austin police officials ramped up efforts to test thousands of forensic samples from sexual assault cases that had sat on shelves for as long as 20 years. They signed deals with other labs across the state and began shipping so-called rape kits for them to analyze. Now, as the department...

Posted: 6 days ago

Last fall, amid growing pressure from victims and advocates, Austin police officials ramped up efforts to test thousands of forensic samples from sexual assault cases that had sat on shelves for as long as 20 years. They signed deals with other labs across the state and began shipping so-called rape kits for them to analyze. Now, as the department...
Austin looking into fourth reported carbon monoxide leak in patrol car
 City officials are looking into whether deadly carbon monoxide possibly seeped into another Austin police patrol car. Police officials confirmed Monday that last week, an officer reported that a newly installed warning system in the Ford Explorer he was driving activated while he was on patrol. The officer stopped the vehicle, notified workers...

Posted: 7 days ago

City officials are looking into whether deadly carbon monoxide possibly seeped into another Austin police patrol car. Police officials confirmed Monday that last week, an officer reported that a newly installed warning system in the Ford Explorer he was driving activated while he was on patrol. The officer stopped the vehicle, notified workers...
Travis DA takes steps to stop deportations of crime victims, witnesses
 Travis County prosecutors will begin immediately issuing letters to victims and witnesses who might be in the country illegally or could be subject to deportation in hopes of possibly shielding them from removal. District Attorney Margaret Moore said the move is intended to make sure her office can resolve criminal cases before a person critical...

Posted: 11 days ago

Travis County prosecutors will begin immediately issuing letters to victims and witnesses who might be in the country illegally or could be subject to deportation in hopes of possibly shielding them from removal. District Attorney Margaret Moore said the move is intended to make sure her office can resolve criminal cases before a person critical...