The career trajectory of Canberra's top cop and one of the Australian Federal Police's brightest stars suddenly nose-dived when his public profile soared too high for a jealous commissioner, a new biography has claimed.
An AFP assistant commissioner appointed to the ACT role in 2010, Roman Quaedvlieg was believed by many to be on a fast-track for the highest police job in the country but fell foul of allowing his profile in community policing to exceed that of his federal boss, Tony Negus.
Although the pair had a good working relationship at first, it slowly deteriorated over time until finally came the unkindest cut of all when Negus - on the selection panel for a role with Customs and Border Protection - pointedly suggested Quaedvlieg should apply.
Quaedvlieg read the telltale signs and replied: "I'm in".
He duly won the job, and was lost to policing.
Charismatic, articulate, highly intelligent, with male model looks and a brilliant track record as a police investigator, Quaedvlieg's appointment into the ACT role had been seen by many as a logical stepping stone to much greater career.
Former ACT Police Minister Simon Corbell had been a fierce supporter of Quaedvlieg and his efforts to engage more openly with the Canberra public via social media.
Quaedvlieg was happy to oblige but was "clipped" by Negus for "personalising" his tweets on the CPO Policing twitter account, and for his live blogs with the public.
"I'm not sure what I did to irk Negus," Quaedvlieg wrote in his new biography released on Tuesday, Tour de Force.
"Whatever it was, it became crystal clear that he was not happy with what he viewed as my self-promotion."
A "daggy" ACT police media-developed team campaign directed at young people to address alcohol-related anti-social behaviour called "Too many drinks and you're a galah", was a success, but Negus didn't like it, says Quaedvlieg.
Where the ACT media arm was attempting to be progressive in its communications, the federal arm was run by a chief of staff with little or no hard media experience. It was steeped in traditional police language and style and supported by a commissioner with no appetite to change it.
In his biography, Quaedvlieg revealed that he was privately rebuked by Negus for an interview he gave to The Canberra Times in which he said that policing, as a profession, suffered from "institutional mysoginy over many decades".
"I was summoned to Negus's office and when I arrived, I could see he was unusually angry," Quaedvlieg said.
"I tried in vain to explain the global context of my comments but he was not impressed and said that I has criticised the AFP.
"He dismissed me with a warning to restrict my media commentary to issues involving ACT Policing".
But he again ran into conflict with Negus when he had the temerity to suggest in an internal publication that ACT police should have a new five-year strategic plan.
"In his [Negus's view], ACT Policing didn't need a five-year plan, and this was a step too far."
Quaedvlieg took the three previous five year plans developed by preceding ACT chief police officers down to Negus's office to explain this was standard ACT government practice.
Negus's next admonishment was reserved for the ACT police media team.
"He told me off for not having control of the media team," Quaedvlieg said. The Commissioner ordered the ACT media team to be transferred out of Belconnen and downtown to the AFP's Barton headquarters where they would be under the direct control of the national chief of staff.
But when Corbell found out, he countermanded the decision. And given the ACT was paying the bill, Negus could do nothing.
However, it was another Negus nail in the federal police career for Quaedvlieg, who left the federal police shortly afterward for the job at Customs and Border Protection.