June 20, 2008 By Andy Opsahl
Austin, Texas, placed CIO Peter Collins on paid administrative leave Wednesday pending an Austin Police Department (APD) investigation into allegations that he used public resources for a "personal project."
On June 12, the city's legal department received a complaint that Collins used city resources improperly, said Gene Acuna, director of public information for Austin. The legal department passed the allegations to Austin's public integrity office, which sent word to City Manager Marc Ott. He found the allegations credible enough for investigation by the APD.
Collins didn't return a voicemail from Government Technology. But he denied any improper use of city resources to the Austin Business Journal and said he didn't know the specifics of the allegations.
"I will let the process work, and the facts will speak for themselves," he told the Austin Business Journal.
Acuna said he knew of no prior investigations or complaints about Collins.
"We're going to allow the police department to conduct its investigation," Acuna said. "They will let us know when it's concluded and report their findings back to us."
The APD handles city employee issues involving potentially criminal behavior. Workplace-related complaints, like sexual harassment claims, go to the human resources department. The city auditor's office handles allegations involving finances and fraud. Austin Deputy CIO Linda Pounds-Adams is acting as CIO in Collins' absence.
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