Police detective says chief will be missed

Published 7:26 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A high-ranking Austin police officer said he was “shocked” by chief Paul Philipp’s decision to retire at the end of the month, but he didn’t want to discuss who could fill the vacancy.

Det. Brian Krueger, who has worked with Philipp for more than 20 years, said the entire department will miss the chief. Philipp publicly announced his retirement plans Tuesday, citing a recently filed complaint against him as his reason to go.

Philipp, who has been with the department for 31 years, said allegations in the complaint were largely unfounded and untrue, but he said he ultimately didn’t want to bring further controversy on the department following the Curt Rude situation. Rude, the department’s former captain, was convicted of a felony drug crime in November and officially dismissed by the city a month later.

Krueger said Philipp is leaving behind a great legacy, despite any current controversy.

“Paul is highly respected in the community,” the detective said. “He’s been an outstanding leader for us.”

Krueger declined to discuss whether he had any interest in the chief position. He also declined to discuss the potential interest of others in the department.

Because the department is without a captain, lieutenants would be the next highest rank, followed by detectives like Krueger.

Lieutenants John Mueller and Matt Holten did not return phone calls Tuesday.

It is unclear the nature and source of the complaint against Philipp, and city administrator Jim Hurm declined to discuss the issue Tuesday, citing personnel privacy laws.