WRAL Investigates

Highway Patrol sergeant under investigation after he was found at home while on duty

Posted November 21

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— The State Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation of a patrol sergeant who WRAL Investigates found at home when he was supposed to be working – even during a state of emergency.

WRAL Investigates received a tip two months ago that Sgt. Maurice DeValle, an 18-year Highway Patrol veteran and a supervisor who makes $69,000 a year, wasn't showing up for his full work shifts.

A news crew spent weeks tracking DeValle on various days he was working and routinely found his cruiser in the driveway of his Wake County home while he was on the clock, including while other Highway Patrol troopers put in nearly 24,000 hours of overtime during and after Hurricane Matthew responding to stranded drivers and keeping people off flooded roads.

Much of eastern North Carolina was under a state of emergency on Oct. 14, and the Neuse River was 10 feet above flood stage in Goldsboro. Dozens of Wayne County roads were impassable, but DeValle, one of the highest-ranking Highway Patrol troopers in the county, wasn't there when he was supposed to be. Instead, WRAL Investigates found his state-issued cruiser at his home more than an hour after he reported to the patrol that he was on duty in Wayne County.

According to Highway Patrol policy, troopers "... must be in their assigned duty station at the beginning of their assigned shift."

But that hasn't been the case for DeValle on a number of occasions:

  • Oct. 1: DeValle reported he was on duty, but he never left his home for at least three hours.
  • Oct. 6: DeValle was at home at 6:45 p.m., hours after reporting to patrol dispatch that he was on the road.
  • Nov. 11: DeValle was at home an hour after calling in that he was on duty.

Patrol officials said supervisors aren't allowed to complete paperwork at home while on the clock. All work must be done in the duty station, they said.

WRAL Investigates also raised questions about where DeValle lives. His home is 35 miles from the Wayne County line – a 40-minute drive – although Highway Patrol policy requires troopers to live in the county where they work or get special permission to live within 20 miles of the county line.

Officials said he never obtained a special exemption to live outside of that 20-mile limit.

DeValle hasn't responded to repeated requests for comment.

After WRAL Investigates took its information to the Highway Patrol, officials placed DeValle on administrative duty and took away his cruiser, pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

13 Comments

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  • Ricky Parker Nov 24, 8:04 p.m.
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    Oh,and since we pay this mans salary,let's give him a raise.😁

  • Ricky Parker Nov 24, 8:02 p.m.
    user avatar

    My God ppl,really,it isn't like he's making a great deal of money keeping ur assets safe on our highways,give the man a break and report on some real news like a cat being in a tree or something.

  • Raleigh Rose Nov 22, 1:11 p.m.
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    I think the difference here is that WE pay this man's salary.

  • Mark Cooper Nov 22, 1:08 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    Watergate....

    The press actually serves a good purpose on this and in our free society. Anyone remember the million dollar scandal on bus tires in NC?

    How about Enron? It was the press that started to question why all the top execs were selling off their stock.

    I am diff form the majority here it would seem. It was WRAL spending their money to help save my tax money from going to someone not earning it. That should not be trivial to anyone that earns a living and has their hard earned money given to someone sitting on their rear. There was plenty to do down east here while he was sitting at home.

  • Kris Dawn Nov 22, 11:39 a.m.
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    Agree, this is NOT the place for this.

    At this point we might as well start reporting everyone who has an issue with a co-worker if you are going to cover this. I mean you posted his salary? Like what does that have to do with ANYTHING?

    He was not showing up for shifts - sounds like an HR/Mgmt issue - NOT NEWS.

    This is ridiculous.

  • Arron Lee Nov 22, 10:45 a.m.
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    You know, since when does a news agency feel it is their place to uncover scandal on people. Sure, this trooper should be disciplined, but why didn't someone just go to his supervisor and report it instead of flashing his name and pic all over the news. I am sure someone could dig up something on Mr. Browder if they tried hard enough. I think "investigative" reporters should be required to have a PI license.

  • Janet Ghumri Nov 22, 10:45 a.m.
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    View quoted thread



    I agree that this seems more of a vendetta than a major expose on the Sergeant. Don't get me wrong, He should be accountable for the time on the clock, but the effort put into the incidents seems like overkill. I'm curious how many people were assigned to monitor him, and how much was invested in exposing it.
    BTW, would that not cross over into stalk-ish behavior? Following him and sitting outside the mans home to document the time he is there? Seems more revenge motivated than anything else. Smh

  • Justa Mann Nov 22, 9:19 a.m.
    user avatar

    Someone not doing their job or appears to not be doing their job so WRAL thinks this is the proper venue to expose it. I'm sure then that WRAL embarrasses every low key employee by posting an article in the news.

    The proper venue would be to complain to the supervisor. Then if nothing was done to correct the problem a better article would be to expose the bigger problem. The way this article was written appears to be more of a grudge against the trooper.

  • Mark Cooper Nov 22, 7:43 a.m.
    user avatar

    I'm glad to see this.

    There is a lack of accountability all thru our state agencies.

  • Daryl Hales Nov 22, 7:30 a.m.
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    Sad, this has been happening for years. Nothing new. Some one seeking revenge on the sgt.

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