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Legal troubles for Raleigh law enforcement executive started with doggie dispute

Posted January 31
Updated February 2

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— An executive with a private law enforcement agency that serves companies in Raleigh was on trial Tuesday on charges that he illegally accessed records on a government database.

In addition to these charges, Joseph Michael Conover, a chief with the Nova Agency Company Police Department, is also accused of overstepping his authority when making four arrests in 2015.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the issue started when Conover allowed his dog to go to the bathroom on a neighbor's lawn multiple times. The neighbor finally called Raleigh police.

"He seemed to have an attitude, and he said he wanted to make a citizen’s arrest," said Reuben Smith, Conover's neighbor. "He looked angry."

After police left, Smith said he witnessed Conover parked outside his home looking information up on a laptop.

"I'd see him on the computer looking at my vehicles," Smith said.

Conover's attorney said his client has every legal right to access information on his neighbor and family as a sworn police officer.

The trial will continue Wednesday.

Conover is expected to be tried on the other charges his is facing in May.


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  • Rick Nolte Feb 1, 10:54 a.m.
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    You cannot just go around checking on people without probable cause