Scratch That: Dusterhoft Still at APD

We were wrong earlier today, and here's what really happened

Jason Dusterhoft (center) in 2012. (Photo by John Anderson)

Earlier today we briefly posted and then took offline a story reporting that Austin Police Commander Jason Dusterhoft had retired abruptly amid an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation. That story was not accurate, and Dusterhoft has not retired from APD.

Our source for the story was local attorney Millie Thompson, who represents an individual who has been interviewed by Internal Affairs during the course of the Dusterhoft probe. Thompson was invited by IA Sgt. Richard Villanueva to attend a meeting at 1pm today, but at 9:08 this morning was informed that the meeting had been canceled.

"I just received communication that our police officer retired," Villanueva wrote to her. Villanueva did not name the relevant officer, and Thompson – not knowing there was an ongoing IA investigation of Sgt. David Crowder that also involved her client – presumed this meeting pertained to Dusterhoft, and forwarded the information to the Chronicle. When the story went online, an APD spokesperson contacted me to say that the story was not accurate; it was Crowder who left the department. Dusterhoft's attorney Jason Nassour also contacted us to request a retraction of the story.

So the story should be "David Crowder Leaves Department Amid Ongoing IA Probe," but it's not clear what exactly Crowder did to get in trouble with IA, meaning that story will have to wait. Crowder had been with the department for 18 years, meaning he resigned and did not retire, as Villanueva incorrectly wrote. That certainly assisted with the confusion, but the fact remains: Dusterhoft is still with APD, and the investigation into his actions continues. – Chase Hoffberger

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