Quotes to note for March 17: SXSW crash, new drama among the regents


Shweta Gulati

APD Police Chief Art Acevedo at a press conference Thursday morning addressing the car incident from the night before that left two people dead and 23 injured at the intersection of Red River and 9th streets amid SXSW activities.

“If Wallace Hall has been pushing Chancellor Cigarroa to do something that isn’t in the UT System’s best interest — which is what Mr. Foster’s email says — it warrants investigation by our committee. … I am now concerned that Mr. Hall’s abuse of his office may have led to the departure of a good friend of mine and an outstanding chancellor.” 

— State Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, in a statement made Friday after the Dallas Morning News published portions of an email hinting that UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, who resigned Feb. 10, did so amidst criticism of his job performance from Regent Wallace Hall. Hall is currently under investigation by a special committee of the State Legislature. Hall is currently under investigation by a special committee of the State Legislature. 

“I feel it is important to convey to you that I do not agree with the inference that ‘you have not done your job.’ Nor do I believe that it is the sentiment of the other members of the board.”

 — Regent Paul Foster in the email sent to Cigarroa on Feb. 5, five days before the chancellor’s resignation. Portions of the email were published by the Dallas Morning News on Thursday. 

“Let me first say this is the board’s choice. [The board will] go through a process, as they should. It’s up to them to choose the chancellor, and I’m confident we’ll get a good chancellor. … I’ve known Kyle [Janeck, Gov. Perry’s recommendation for chancellor] for a long time. I think he is an excellent person. If he were the chancellor, I would look forward to working with him.” 

— UT Austin President William Powers Jr. to the Texas Tribune on Thursday in response to the Board of Regents’ decision to hire an executive search firm to help in the process of finding Chancellor Cigarroa’s replacement. 

“As much as we would just like to go home and spend time absorbing the shock of this horrific event, we feel our best use is to continue operating.”

 — SXSW Managing Director Roland Swenson speaking Thursday on how the festival would be continuing after a car crash injured more than 20 pedestrians and killed two people in the downtown area early Thursday morning. 

“You cannot stop a person that decides, rather than face potential drunk driving charges, at a high rate of speed, shows total disregard for human life. That’s why we will be charging two counts of capital murder.” 

— Police Chief Art Acevedo speaking Thursday about the charges against the then-unidentified driver who caused the car crash, 21-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens, who was evading an attempted traffic stop by police when the crash happened.