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

Well-known Austin activist Chas Moore charged with assault
 Chas Moore, a well-known community activist and director of the Austin Justice Coalition, is being charged with assault, a misdemeanor stemming from a recent altercation at a Sixth Street establishment, his attorney confirmed Tuesday. “It is an unfortunate incident,” lawyer Brian McGiverin said. “I think it is going to be...

Posted: a minute ago

Chas Moore, a well-known community activist and director of the Austin Justice Coalition, is being charged with assault, a misdemeanor stemming from a recent altercation at a Sixth Street establishment, his attorney confirmed Tuesday. “It is an unfortunate incident,” lawyer Brian McGiverin said. “I think it is going to be...
‘I said ‘Go!’: Inside the SWAT team that took down the Austin bomber
 Around midnight on March 20, a handful of Austin Police Department SWAT officers climbed into a van and raced north up Interstate 35. They were close to catching the serial bomber who had terrorized the city for 19 days. In the dimly lit parking lot of a Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ, the team assembled blocks from where the man&rsquo...

Posted: 4 days ago

Around midnight on March 20, a handful of Austin Police Department SWAT officers climbed into a van and raced north up Interstate 35. They were close to catching the serial bomber who had terrorized the city for 19 days. In the dimly lit parking lot of a Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ, the team assembled blocks from where the man&rsquo...
Hill’s Café to close site on South Congress, bound for new development
 A legendary South Austin restaurant and music venue is closing — at least for the time being. Hill’s Café on South Congress will cease operations Wednesday night as property owners prepare to develop the 14-acre tract of land the venue has called home for more than a quarter-century, its operators told the American-Statesman...

Posted: 11 days ago

A legendary South Austin restaurant and music venue is closing — at least for the time being. Hill’s Café on South Congress will cease operations Wednesday night as property owners prepare to develop the 14-acre tract of land the venue has called home for more than a quarter-century, its operators told the American-Statesman...
Hill’s Cafe to close South Austin location, bound for new development
 A legendary South Austin restaurant and music venue is closing — at least for the time being. Hill’s Cafe on South Congress will cease operations Wednesday evening as landowners prepare to develop the 14-acre tract of land the venue has called home for a quarter-century, its operators and property owner told the American-Statesman...

Posted: 12 days ago

A legendary South Austin restaurant and music venue is closing — at least for the time being. Hill’s Cafe on South Congress will cease operations Wednesday evening as landowners prepare to develop the 14-acre tract of land the venue has called home for a quarter-century, its operators and property owner told the American-Statesman...
Grand jury declines charging judge candidate accused of sex with teen
 A Travis County grand jury declined to charge judicial candidate Chantal Eldridge after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against her. The grand jury’s decision came down Friday, clearing the way for Eldridge, an Austin defense attorney, to take the bench next year after she runs unopposed in November’s election...

Posted: 17 days ago

A Travis County grand jury declined to charge judicial candidate Chantal Eldridge after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against her. The grand jury’s decision came down Friday, clearing the way for Eldridge, an Austin defense attorney, to take the bench next year after she runs unopposed in November’s election...
Newly released DPS chopper video shows takedown of Austin bomber
 Early on March 21, the call went out from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter circling over Round Rock: Pilots had the Austin serial bomber in sight. “I’ve got him eastbound … coming up to (Interstate) 35 frontage,” the trooper announced to an army of federal, state and local police on the ground. A DPS...

Posted: 17 days ago

Early on March 21, the call went out from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter circling over Round Rock: Pilots had the Austin serial bomber in sight. “I’ve got him eastbound … coming up to (Interstate) 35 frontage,” the trooper announced to an army of federal, state and local police on the ground. A DPS...
Grand jury declines to indict Travis County judge candidate Eldridge
 A Travis County grand jury declined to indict Travis County judicial candidate Chantal Eldridge in connection with allegations that she had sex with a 16-year-old foreign exchange student in 2006. The grand jury decision came down Friday, clearing the way for Eldridge, an Austin defense attorney, to take the bench next year after she runs...

Posted: 17 days ago

A Travis County grand jury declined to indict Travis County judicial candidate Chantal Eldridge in connection with allegations that she had sex with a 16-year-old foreign exchange student in 2006. The grand jury decision came down Friday, clearing the way for Eldridge, an Austin defense attorney, to take the bench next year after she runs...
Newly released chopper video shows takedown of Austin bomber
 Five months after law enforcement officers cornered Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt in Round Rock, state officials on Friday released helicopter video showing the dramatic and deadly confrontation. The footage marks the first substantial piece of evidence made public in a case that terrorized Austin during a 19-day stretch in...

Posted: 18 days ago

Five months after law enforcement officers cornered Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt in Round Rock, state officials on Friday released helicopter video showing the dramatic and deadly confrontation. The footage marks the first substantial piece of evidence made public in a case that terrorized Austin during a 19-day stretch in...
Grand jury report slams Travis County tax office for lax oversight
 A Travis County grand jury that has been investigating fraud at the tax assessor-collector’s office has issued a three-page report that slams the office for negligence and a lack of supervision. The report comes after three people, including two tax office employees, were indicted in June, which prompted the grand jury to review...

Posted: 25 days ago

A Travis County grand jury that has been investigating fraud at the tax assessor-collector’s office has issued a three-page report that slams the office for negligence and a lack of supervision. The report comes after three people, including two tax office employees, were indicted in June, which prompted the grand jury to review...
Grand jury indicts son of slain jeweler on capital murder charge
 A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Nicolas Shaughnessy, who Travis County investigators have accused of planning to kill his father, on a charge of capital murder, court records show. A two-page indictment said Shaughnessy “knowingly caused the death of an individual” by hiring a man detectives identified as 21-year-old...

8:52 PM Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Nicolas Shaughnessy, who Travis County investigators have accused of planning to kill his father, on a charge of capital murder, court records show. A two-page indictment said Shaughnessy “knowingly caused the death of an individual” by hiring a man detectives identified as 21-year-old...
Former Austin school police officer indicted in hit-and-run
 A former Austin school district police officer has been indicted in a hit-and-run, which was caught on video, that seriously injured a woman in a South Austin parking lot earlier this year. Adam Marsh, 33, is expected to turn himself in to the Travis County Jail by the end of the week, his attorney Robert McCabe said Thursday. A district...

11:12 PM Thursday, Aug. 02, 2018

A former Austin school district police officer has been indicted in a hit-and-run, which was caught on video, that seriously injured a woman in a South Austin parking lot earlier this year. Adam Marsh, 33, is expected to turn himself in to the Travis County Jail by the end of the week, his attorney Robert McCabe said Thursday. A district...