Chief of Police Brian Manley determined that Officer Furbush's actions violated Civil Service Commission Rule 10.03(L) and suspended him from his duties for one day effective October 31,2020. Internal Affairs' investigation revealed that Officer Furbush violated Civil Service Rules and General Orders when he failed to investigate and document an alleged criminal offense when responding to a disturbance incident at a hotel.
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Civil Service Office
OCT 30 2020
Austin Police Department
Office ofthe ChiefofPolice
Joya Hayes, Director of Civil Service
Brian Manley, Chief of Police
October 30, 2020
Temporary Suspension of Police Officer Robert Furbush #7992
Internal Affhirs Control Number 2020-0589
Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code, Section
143.052, and Rule IC, Rules of Procedure for the Firefighters’, Police Officers’ and
Emergency Medical Service Personnel’s Civil Service Commission, I have temporarily
suspended Police Officer Robert Furbush #7992 from duty as a City ofAustin, Texas police
officer for a period of One (1) day. The temporary suspension is effective beginning on
October 31, 2020.
I took this action because Officer Furbush violated Civil Service Commission Rule 10.03,
which sets forth the grounds for disciplinary suspensions of employees in the classified
service, and states:
No employee of the classified service of the City of Austin shall engage in,
or be involved in, any of the following acts or conduct, and the same shall
constitute cause for suspension of an employee from the classified service
of the City:
Violation of any of the rules and regulations of the Fire
Department or Police Department or of special orders, as
The following are the specific acts committed by Officer Furbush in violation of Rule 10:
On May 10, 2020, Officer Robert Furbush responded to a Disturbance-other incident at a
hotel in northeast Austin. During the call, the front desk manager told Officer Furbush that
a suspect had exhibited aggressive behavior, including damaging hotel property and
threatening hotel staff and a third-party guest. The manager specifically told Officer
Furbush that she witnessed the suspect threaten a female guest by “...cussing at hei; telling
her all kinds ofthings and saying he it’as going to cut he,:”
Officer Furbush then confirmed with the manager that she wanted a Criminal Trespass
Notice (CTN) to be issued to the suspect. Officer Furbush was directed to the suspect’s
room and made contact with him. Officer Furbush told the suspect that he would have to
vacate the hotel and would be issued a CTN.
Officer Furbush subsequently came in contact with a male witness and the female victim
in the hotel lobby. The male witness advised Officer Furbush that “[the suspect] threatened
this ladyfor no reason.
The female victim then advised Officer Furbush, “I an: the one
that keeps getting threatened.” After hearing these statements Officer Furbush tried to
reassure her by stating, “I ‘in standing right here, okay. So you ‘refine. Mn ‘r nothing going
to happen to you. “After making this statement, Officer Furbush did not ask any follow-up
questions or identif~’ the victim and witness.
Officer Furbush then exited the lobby, returning to his police vehicle to make a personal
telephone call, during which time the suspect passed through the lobby several times while
removing his personal belongings from the hotel room, within feet of the victim, without
any police over watch and protection.
In sum, Officer Furbush ultimately made sure the suspect collected his belongings and
vacated the hotel. Officer Furbush wrote a report for Criminal Trespass, documenting the
CTN information under Case Number 2020-1310610. While Officer Furbush denied
violating any APD General Orders, he admittedly failed to investigate and document the
alleged “Assault by Threat” criminal offense. Not only did Officer Furbush fail to identify
the victim and witness, he failed to ask any questions of the suspect about the specific
alleged “Assault by Threat”. Moreover, Officer Furbush failed to document any of the
victim and witness statements in his report.
By these actions, Officer Furbush violated Rule 10.03(L) of the Civil Service Rules by
violating the following rules and regulations of the Austin Police Department:
Austin Policc Department Policy 401.2: Preliminary Field Investigations:
Initial Response and Investigation
401.2 Initial Response and Investigation
The primary officer shall make a preliminary determination if a
crime has been committed,
If the information indicates that a crime has occurred, follow
the guidelines outlined in this General Order.
If the information indicates that no crime occurred, detennine
what other action may be necessary and/or what resources may
be available to the subject.
Generally, officers assigned
to calls or discovering incidents
investigation and required paperwork.
Documentation: General Guidelines
An incident number will be assigned and all required fields completed during
documentation anytime an employee observes or receives any information
concerning the following, but not limited to:
Criminal or suspected criminal offenses, regardless of the victim’s
level of cooperation.
Citizen complaints of non-criminal incidents requiring action by the
Any other situation where documentation is required by law or
another section of departmental general orders.
If in doubt as to whether an incident should be documented, employees shall confer with a
supervisor. For the purpose of this order, Corporals may function as the designated
By copy of this memo, Officer Furbush is hereby advised of this temporary suspension and
that the suspension may be appealed to the Civil Service Commission by filing with the
Director ofCivil Service, within ten (10) days after receipt of a copy of this memo, a proper
notice ofappeal in accordance with Section 143.010 of the Texas Local Government Code.
By copy of this memo and as required by Section 143.057 of the Texas Local Government
Code, Officer Furbush is hereby advised that such section and the Agreement Between the
City of Austin and the Austin Police Association provide for an appeal to an independent
third party hearing examiner, in accordance with the provisions of such Agreement. If
appeal is made to a hearing examiner, all rights of appeal to a District Court are waived,
except as provided by Subsection (j) of Section 143.057 of the Texas Local Government
Code. That section states that the State District Court may hear appeals of an award of a
hearing examiner only on the grounds that the arbitration panel was without jurisdiction or
exceeded its jurisdiction, or that the order was procured by fraud, collusion or other
In order to appeal to a hearing examiner, the original notice of appeal
submitted to the Director of Civil Service must state that appeal is made to a hearing
In addition, because this disciplinary suspension is for three (3) days or less, Officer
Furbush is advised of the following provisions of Article 18, Section 1, of the Meet and
The panics agree that when an officer is suspendedfor 1, 2, or 3 days the officer mciv
choose one oftwo methods ofdealing with the suspensions as listed below.
Suspe,zsions that may not be appealed. The officer may choose to use
vacation or holiday time to serve the suspension with no loss of paid
salary and no break in service for purposes of seniority, retirement,
promotion, or am’ other purpose. The officer must agree that there is no
right to appeal ~fthis method ofsuspension is chosen.
The officer may appeal the
suspension to arbitration or the Civil Service Commission. If the officer
chooses to appeal the suspension,
the arbitrator or Civil Service
Conunissjon ‘s authority is limited to ruling on ii’hether or not the charges
against the officer are true or not true. If the arbitrator or Civil Service
C’onunission finds the charges to be true, there is no authority to mitigate
the punts/uncut. If the arbitrato,’ or civil Service Commission finds the
charges to be not true, the officer shall befull3’ reinstated ii’ith 110 loss of
pay or benefit,
Arbitration Costs on Appealable Suspe,,sjons
In the event that an officer appeals a 1, 2 or 3 dciv suspension to arbitration, it is agreed
that the party that loses the arbitration shall be responsiblefor all costs ofthe arbitrato,;
including travel and lodging ifnecessa,y.
Tofacilitate such payment on the part ofthe officer he shall submit, at the time ofappeal,
rwtion agreement that ~f the arbitrator rules in favor of the City he
(red dollars ($100.00) per month to be deductedfrorn his regular
rt would usually be the City’s portion of the arbitrato,’ ‘s costs
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above and foregoing memorandum of temporary
suspension and I have been advised that if I desire to appeal that I have ten (10) days from
the date of this receipt to file written notice of appeal with the Director of Civil Service in
accordance with the provisions of Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code.
Police 0 ficer Robert Furbush #7992