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Judge upholds decision to fire trooper

Posted July 1, 2010

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— A Superior Court judge has become the latest arbiter to uphold the firing of a state trooper for showing an obscene image to a bank teller.

Judge Carl Fox on June 17 upheld the decision reached last summer by the state Personnel Commission to uphold an administrative law judge’s ruling on Ronald Gene Ezzell Jr.'s firing by the state Highway Patrol.

Ezzell, a helicopter pilot who worked for the Highway Patrol for 19 years, was in a marked cruiser in the drive-through lane at a State Employees Credit Union branch in Kinston in October 2008 when he passed an image to a teller.

The doctored photo showed a boy with enlarged genitals.

After word of the incident reached Ezzell’s supervisors, they recommended that he be suspended and demoted.

Former patrol commander Col. Walter Wilson decided instead to fire Ezzell, saying he had reprimanded Ezzell earlier after the trooper made inappropriate comments to a teenage waitress when the two men were at lunch.

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  • fischer Jul 2, 2010

    Dear NC & Gov Bev,

    Please step up and show the public that the SHP is being held under review, clean it up and show that your tax paying citizens our taxe$$$ are not wasted. Lately there is too much negative SHP news popping up involving some big pay 'senior' troopers. Rather than cutting education it seems obvious to me where some real bacon can be saved!!

  • Ladybug1 Jul 2, 2010

    To batkins586 - "I do not know why Clendenin was removed. The text messages are nothing as far as I am concerned! I am sure that far worse has actually been said and done by many that are still working for the state of NC" batkins586

    I believe he was removed for sending these messages on a state issued phone. Remember you and I are helping foot the bill for that phone. Yes, I am sure others use their phone inappropriately, but they haven't been caught - YET.

  • Bartmeister Jul 2, 2010

    The photo he showed has been around for years. It's actually a very funny pic. Guess the bank teller didn't think so.

  • Hans Jul 2, 2010

    Maybe now this creep will finally go away.

  • Journey985 Jul 2, 2010

    Nice to know that we have some judges that are not afraid to do what is right. Maybe this FORMER officer can be a mall cop like leo-nc? I am so glad to see that the Gov's "No Tolerance" statement is begining to take root. Maybe now the rest of the officers (not saying all here so pay attention) that act like they are above the law and behave how they wish will take notice and clean up their act!

  • batkins586 Jul 1, 2010

    I do not know why Clendenin was removed. The text messages are nothing as far as I am concerned! I am sure that far worse has actually been said and done by many that are still working for the state of NC

  • RaleighPirate Jul 1, 2010

    I know all SHP personnel are not "bad apples" but they have sure had their share lately. This all points to the top. And the top in this case is our governor. And with her no tolerance policy she seems to be taking this seriously. They would not have "removed" a top officer in the SHP (Clendenin) last week if they were not serious about this IMHO.

  • Eastern N.C. Native Jul 1, 2010

    Big deal...

  • HappyGirl08 Jul 1, 2010

    That's right. You don't mess with SECU!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jul 1, 2010

    He's Gotta Go! No time for this unacceptable deplorable behavior!