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Highway Patrol Fires Sergeant After DWI Arrest

Posted October 3, 2007
Updated October 4, 2007

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— Extending a string of state Highway Patrol officers being fired or disciplined for conduct-related issues, the patrol has fired another state trooper, officials announced Wednesday.

First Sgt. John Warren was charged with driving while impaired on Sept. 9 in Nash County.

He was placed on leave following his arrest, and patrol officials fired him Tuesday. Warren was a 19-year veteran of the force and was stationed in Raleigh.

Troopers arrested Warren after they were contacted about an argument between him and a woman at her home. When troopers arrived at the residence, they determined Warren had driven there while impaired.

They arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving. Breath tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.13. The legal limit is 0.08.

Warren’s firing comes a week after Gov. Mike Easley called for a review of the hiring and screening process and supervisory procedures of the Highway Patrol.

In September, the agency fired one trooper who targeted young women for late-night traffic stops and another who abused a police dog in a training exercise. A third trooper resigned after two women said he forced them to kiss him, and a fourth was dismissed for undisclosed reasons.

Troopers have to submit to a polygraph test, background check and psychological testing to get hired. Michael McGuinness, the attorney for the North Carolina Troopers Association, said he welcomes a review of the hiring process and said he hopes to provide input.

Between five and 12 troopers were fired each year from 2003 through 2006.


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  • mikaelgross1 Oct 4, 2007

    The most important thing will be to see the outcome of the trial tomorrow in Nash County. If he wins, look for fireworks. I can assure you there will be an appeal and a win!

  • mikaelgross1 Oct 4, 2007

    The Nature Boy, you need to be a bit more realistic. There is no law that requires the activation of a blue light or siren to overtake a violator, just to warn them to pull over. There are times when it is appropriate to use them to warn other drivers to move over (as in the move over law) and when traveling through extremely populated areas. G.S. 20-145 spells out all the requirements if you want to look them up in our Motor Vehicle laws. As for going 30 MPH over to catch a person only going 15 MPH over only makes since. Anyone familiar with time and distance knows that to overtake an object in motion the overtaker must be traveling at a speed greater than the target. I can understand your point, but going by your example, no violators would ever be able to be caught. Just a thought.

  • mikaelgross1 Oct 4, 2007

    First, Soldier Medic, North Carolina is an "at-will" state for private employment. If you work for the State, you are a "for cause" employee unless specifically exempted by statute or by the Governor. Usually these expemt positions are high level jobs with in the Executive and Legislative Branches. In this case, Sergeanbt Warren is not an "at-will" employee and is therforee entiteled to due process and appeals under Chapter 126 (State Personnel Act)of the General Statutes. YOu are probably looking to Chapter 95 (Labor Laws).

  • Sound Tech Oct 4, 2007

    Due to privacy laws I will not disclose either why he was fired. However it is not for the DWI. If you keep up with this case in the future you will probably never see the DWI charge go to court.

  • Lyle Oct 4, 2007

    Can you back that up?

  • Timbo Oct 4, 2007

    Well Tech, I'll bite, what was the reason?

  • Sound Tech Oct 4, 2007

    I see WRAL deleted my first post on this story. Folks I will say it one more time. This trooper was not fired for a DWI, he was fired for a different reason, however WRAL does not want to report on that because it will not generate as much conversation.

  • yukonjohn3 Oct 4, 2007

    I bet this trooper will end up getting a HUGE settlement out of this and wont have to worry about getting a job anymore. How shameful of them to arrest him on the word of someone else. I bet he gets fully exhonerated. I am not someone that believes anything that law enforcement throws at me, but as I have said on here many times, here in Alaska, we have a great rapport with our troopers and they respect our right to privacy and it works perfectly. I wish this trooper the best.

  • freespeech Oct 4, 2007

    There's no conspiracy here. Looks like they're just trying to run a tighter ship. They would be villanized if they hadn't done anything, and now they're being villanized for taking action. The trooper was only being human and made a mistake. Now he has lost his job. I hate it for him and his family since he's been serving the state for so long, but I also know that with all the bad press lately HQ has no other option.


    sounds like to me the shp is in a firing mood ... you need to be looking out for your troopers some instead of making examples because of public correctness....