Local News

Judge Reinstates Trooper Fired for Having Sex While on Duty

Posted September 22, 2007

— A judge ordered the State Highway Patrol to re-instate a trooper who was fired for having sex in his patrol car and at a district station with a woman who was not his wife.

Administrative Law Judge Melissa Owens Lassiter ordered the re-reinstatement of Monty Steven Poarch, an 18-year veteran who was based in Alexander County, because the Highway Patrol gave lesser punishments to troopers for similar charges.

Highway Patrol officials announced Saturday they will appeal the court order to reinstate Poarch.

"Poarch's actions while on duty as a state trooper are outrageous and unacceptable," Col. W. Fletcher Clay, commander of the Highway Patrol, said. "And we are disappointed in Judge Lassiter's decision in this case. In our opinion, it was the wrong decision to make."

Three other troopers received suspensions, demotions and transfers for sexual offenses similar to Poarch's. In his case, a Wake Superior Court judge and another administrative law judge ruled that courts can consider whether state agencies gave out equal discipline for similar infractions.

All these cases considered by the court, including Poarch's, happened before Clay assumed command of the patrol in 2004. Clay said he intends to take a strict stand against such conduct.

"All of these actions took place prior to my administration, and I want to make it clear that a strong stance against these types of actions is being taken," he said.

Poarch was fired in 2003 after Donna Lynne Kirby filed a complaint against him with the patrol's internal affairs investigators. Poarch later admitted to having sex with Kirby in his patrol car and at a district station, but denied it happened while he was on duty.

His recommended punishment was a 10-day suspension, but then-commander Richard Holden chose to terminate the trooper. Bryan Beatty, secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety, upheld the firing.

Poarch is currently serving as a lieutenant in the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

98 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • rpdwife05 Sep 24, 4:28 p.m.

    I can't believe the judge asked for his reinstatement. How unprofessional of him to engage in sexual intercourse while on duty...In his patrol car! The Hwy patrol made the mistake of not equally punishing every officer who made this judgement call. How often does this happen?

    Let me just say, if that were my husband...he would get a petition for divorce slapped on him so quick his head would spin. To the wife, there is a thing called aleination of affection... use it! I hate to think that the wife of this officer was sitting at home worried about her husbands welfare (which all LEO spouses do worry...a lot!) and all the while he is screwing some chick. UGHHHHHHHH.

  • wu Sep 24, 4:18 p.m.

    Just another cop that got away from obeying the law.I recentlly read an article were a couple was arrested for that at a wendy's parking lot. duh duh duh

  • Run_Forrest_Run Sep 24, 2:14 p.m.

    So what happens now when the State Trooper expect sex from you instead of a ticket and uses his power to force you to comply..... I think this is a dangerous precedent!!!

    I would love to know why people do things that they wouldn't want someone to read about in the newspaper.

    Morality must be dead or near death these days.

  • whatusay Sep 24, 11:55 a.m.

    I wonder if I could force my wife to keep me if I had sex with another wovan. Is there a good judge anywhere?

  • bill0 Sep 24, 10:52 a.m.

    First - nobody knows if this was "on the clock." He says it wasn't. The only one who says it was is the crazy ex-girlfriend who reported it.

    Second - if you have a policy that X offense gets Y punishment, you have to apply it evenly. You can't pick and chose who you fire based on the same offense. If you decide the problem has gotten out of control, you need to set a new policy and punishment - in writing - ahead of time.

  • shine Sep 24, 6:26 a.m.

    yukonjohn3..... "you don't have sex in your office" - that patrol car IS his office. As far as your exta marital affairs.... Washington DC's "federal housing" has plenty of that to boot and in the past has proven that it is in the office.

  • anonemoose Sep 24, 5:10 a.m.

    HP Policy makes it clear that a Trooper "checks on" when he gets into the car in his driveway, and checks off when he gets back home at the end of his shift, and is "on duty" the entire time in between. Maybe not responsible for calls, but on duty.

  • family first Sep 24, 2:02 a.m.

    I cannot believe there are so many ignorant people out there that believe just because a handful of bad people (in this case troopers)do something wrong that it makes the entire force bad. Does that mean that all doctors or nurses are bad because of the few bad ones, or all teachers or preachers or Wal-mart employees or CPAs are bad just because of a few. Those of you who are claiming all troopers are bad should look at you field of employment and include yourself as bad if you have ever heard of anyone in your field doing something wrong. There are many great troopers out there working hard, doing their jobs, and upholding the high standards of the NCSHP. A few bad does not make them all bad.

  • family first Sep 24, 1:46 a.m.

    All of you people who think the few irresponsible troopers account for the entire force are ignorant. Do a few bad teachers make all the teachers bad, or a few bad preachers, or wal-mart clerks, or waitresses, or any other job or profession.
    Each one of you should take a look and what you do if that's how you feel and say you are bad and should be fired or talked badly about just because someone in the same field as you are bad or has made bad choices. There are many great troopers out there working hard and maintaining the high standards of the NCSHP and should not be judged by the few bad ones just as you are not judged as bad because someone else in your field is.

  • reality4sure Sep 23, 10:44 p.m.

    Newsflash: State Troopers are mere mortals. They eat, breathe, sleep, and procreate like other humans. They have flaws, just like each and every person who has made a post here. Where did this extremely high standard come from that we judge them? Wait, hold on....it come from them.

    Colonel Clay, the quicker you can teach humility to your troops and remove this "holier than thou" attitude that goes beyond pride and espirit de corps, the better. Such a pompous attitude reduces the ability of the Trooper to deliver quality law enforcement services to the public it serves and stokes the fires of controversy when a member of the Patrol is caught being "human".

More...