Local News

Fired Butner officer fights to regain job

Posted November 8, 2011

— A Butner police officer fired last year for his involvement in a drunken-driving stop involving an off-duty State Highway Patrol trooper is trying to get back on the force.

Former Lt. Daniel Parrott has appealed his May 2010 termination, and the case is being heard in the state Office of Administrative Hearings.

Parrott and former Butner Capt. Walter Williams stopped former Highway Patrol Capt. James Williams Jr. in Granville County on April 3, 2010, and the two officers suspected that James Williams was driving while impaired.

Butner Public Safety logo Butner officer appeals firing over trooper's traffic stop

Instead of taking action against James Williams, the officers dropped him off at a nearby Best Western motel, according to police-radio traffic recordings.

The officers never filed any charges nor administered any sobriety tests, an internal investigation by the public safety department and the Highway Patrol found.

"He failed to take appropriate enforcement actions," Maj. Danny Roberts, an internal affairs investigator for Butner police, testified Tuesday in Parrott's court hearing.

"It is alleged that the captain was impaired, that Lt. Parrott did not charge the captain with a crime and that Lt. Parrott was untruthful with (Police Chief Wayne) Hobgood when asked about the incident," Roberts said.

Hobgood also fired Walter Williams and Maj. Anthony Moss after the incident. Moss was called by the others after the traffic stop, and he didn't object to them taking James Williams to the motel.

Hobgood ordered an internal investigation immediately after listening to police radio calls regarding the traffic stop.

"I remember specifically he turned to Maj. Moss with a look of, 'How come I didn't know this?'" Roberts testified.

James Williams, who was fired by the Highway Patrol, could testify in the court case, which is expected to last several days.


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  • Here2tellya Nov 9, 2011

    why aren't all DUI suspects taken to the best western and allowed to sleep it off with no punishment? It would only seem fair.

  • GOBBLE2U Nov 9, 2011

    WRAL tends to believe and report whatever the state tells them as factual. I know one of those involved in this incident and his family. They are very good people. In 1985 one of those involved saved the lives of two attorney generals drowning in Kerr Lake. I wonder how they feel about this. I remember he received the Governors Award for bravery and heroism. Research your facts before launching a smear campaign WRAL.

  • abylelab -BT- Nov 9, 2011

    y'know, before people went punishment-crazy, the police used to do this sort of thing all the time. and for regular people, not just other cops and politicians.

  • nccrew Nov 8, 2011

    Why should these officers have been fired? While I am only aware of the information presented in this and previous articles I see nothing that warrants termination. There is no previous in the laws of NC that requires officer to arrest. Officers do have discretion; while this may seem to be cronyism it wasn't illegal for the officers to NOT arrest.
    Has no one on WRAL ever got a warning from an officer?
    I read these stories and others…the poor police are left in a no win situation. If they do arrest and it’s later deemed “unpopular” they get fired, if they don’t arrest and it’s later deemed unpopular then they get fired.

  • disgusted2010 Nov 8, 2011

    Hopefully it will come out just how far up the chain of command this debacle went. While the firings were probably justified, they did not go high enough. And I'm talking about higher than Butner Public Safety.

  • boneymaroney13 Nov 8, 2011

    These guys should have been reduced to non-supervisory rank, suspended without pay and allowed to return to duty on a probationary period, depending on their past performances. ANY infraction would then result in termination. I really don't care if you are a cop hater. You know how difficult it is to hire people into law enforcement? Plus, you effect their families during these hard obama times.

  • TheDude abides... Nov 8, 2011

    Where do the rest of these officers work?
    Anybody know?
    Probably in Franklin County would be a good guess.