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Landlord Officer Fired for Bullying Tenant (from Austin Chronicle


On Oct. 30, Austin Police Officer Alex Sanchez was indefinitely suspended (that is, in the argot of civil service, fired)
for forging documents, lying to investigators, and stealing a truck from a former tenant who lived for nearly a year at
one of Sanchez's Austin rental properties. According to a disciplinary memo penned by Austin Police Department
Chief Art Acevedo, in April Sanchez sought to evict a tenant from his South-Central Austin duplex after she failed to
pay the monthly rent by April 9. Sanchez filed eviction papers with Justice of the Peace Raùl González – including
in his packet a copy of the lease on which he'd forged his tenant's signature – and on May 2, after Sanchez's tenant
failed to show for a hearing, the court entered a default judgment in Sanchez's favor: After the mandatory five-day
waiting period, during which the tenant could appeal, the tenant would be forced to vacate. Instead of waiting the five
days, however, Sanchez took possession of the duplex on May 4 and, to make matters worse, took a pickup truck
parked there, owned by the tenant's sister, packed it full of the tenant's property, and had it towed away – without

In response, the tenant called 911 and reported that Sanchez had stolen the truck, which, in turn, sparked an
investigation by Sgt. Mark Spangler of APD's Integrity Crimes Unit. According to Acevedo's memo, Spangler
questioned Sanchez repeatedly about whether he'd moved the truck, and each time Sanchez lied, claiming he'd done
nothing. In all, Acevedo wrote that Sanchez's actions – including perjury (for lying in documents submitted to the
court), auto theft, violation of a court order (for breaking the five-day waiting period) – all demonstrated Sanchez's
"lack of ethics." Sanchez's "conduct is the antithesis of the ethical standards I demand of my officers and warrants the
ultimate punishment, indefinite suspension," he wrote. Sanchez may also be facing criminal charges connected to his
conduct. In the meantime, however, he retains the right to appeal his termination to an independent arbitrator.