Local News

Highway Patrol Releases Records Detailing Officer Punishments

Posted October 24, 2007
Updated October 25, 2007

— Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty defended the integrity of the State Highway Patrol on Wednesday as he released a list of two dozen internal affairs cases detailing punishment doled to officers.

The five-page list, which covers cases from December 1997 to August 2005, includes a variety of sexual misconduct, mostly involving off-duty affairs that led to disciplinary action ranging from one-day suspensions to demotions and dismissals.

An administrative law judge has ordered the Highway Patrol to produce those records for a court case involving former Trooper Monty Stevens Poarch, who was fired in 2003 for having sex in his patrol cruiser and at a district station.

Beatty said Wednesday he wanted to make them public all at once.

"I will take a black eye today if it will advance the integrity of the patrol for the future," he said.

Poarch's attorney has said the patrol fired Poarch while it only suspended other troopers for serious misconduct.

The list has five cases in which troopers had sex on duty. In three cases, the troopers resigned in lieu of being fired. In one case, a trooper was suspended without pay for one day because the claims could not be substantiated. In a 1998 case, a trooper was suspended without pay for three days.

Beatty said sexual misconduct has been an ongoing problem in all of law enforcement, but that such behavior will not be tolerated by the Highway Patrol.

"Sex on duty will result in dismissal," he said.

"People have to understand the difference between the patrol car and the bedroom," he said later.

Beatty also endorsed how the commander of the 1,800-member force, Col. Fletcher Clay, has handled internal affairs cases.

"We want to assure the public that we will not tolerate serious misconduct," he said. "We will make every effort to maintain the very high standards that the public expects from members of law enforcement."

The patrol's reputation has come under fire as similar cases have recently surfaced recently.

Trooper Scott Harrison was dismissed in August after being accused of targeting young women for overnight traffic stops. After a judge ruled Harrison's credibility was "unworthy of belief," the Wake County district attorney dismissed dozens of charges Harrison had brought against motorists.

Less than a week later, in September, Trooper Michael A. Steele resigned amid allegations that he forced two women he pulled over on separate occasions to kiss him.

A few days later, Sgt. Charles L. Jones was fired after allegations that he abused a dog during a training exercise.

A fourth trooper was fired for undisclosed reasons in late September, and Sgt. John Warren was placed on investigative leave after being charged with driving while impaired.

"You're talking about, in the grand scheme of things, a very small number (of incidents of misconduct), but even that small number can lead the public to perceive there's a serious problem," Beatty said.

Last month, Gov. Mike Easley directed Clay and Beatty to review the patrol's hiring and screening process as well as its supervisory procedures. Beatty said Wednesday, he will have an independent consultant to conduct that review.

"We will not tolerate behavior that blemishes the reputation of the patrol or of law enforcement in general," Beatty said.


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  • leo-nc Oct 26, 2007

    Well thank you. I'm glad you're glad. But again, what is your point? What does him going the same direction as you have to do with the price of tea in China? How do you know he was on his way to investigate? Did you hear the radio traffic? Were you able to read the call on his MDT? Even if he was going there to investigate, did you bother to think that he might be looking at other things around the house while you're waiting for him? Just because you don't see what he's doing, you automatically think that he's not on your call? How can you even begin to understand what that officer is doing? Your whole point makes no sense, and as for you having more respect for fireman than you do police, what is your point here as well? Do you think we care?

  • nofear Oct 26, 2007

    I am glad you are in good shape, I wouls think being a officer you should be. The officer and I were traveling in the same direction. I know the officer was on the way to investagate. I have more respect for a fireman than police.

  • leo-nc Oct 26, 2007

    I'm lost. Why would you be bothered by the fact that he came to investigate an intruder alarm at your home? Do you think he came back because he thought you were speeding?

    The donut jokes don't bother me but I do find it humorous that I'm in twice the shape as most of the people I stop, many of whom I'm sure make make the same joke about donuts.

  • nofear Oct 26, 2007

    I think that in every job there are slack and unlawful doings.
    I have had several bad experiences with the justice system. I have found out it not always fare.
    I have an alarm system on my house that was set off one time and I passed a cop going the speed limit to return to my house.
    Ten minuts later the officer I passed showed up at my house to investagate. I was wondering why, but did not say anything. But there is a doughnut shop near by. That is just one, I have many. I am an respectable and up right citizen. I don't think there is fair justice in some cases. I guess the officers pick and choice.

  • leo-nc Oct 26, 2007

    "Yes, I'm talking about Poarch. What kind of a reputation is he giving the HP? Not a very good one, sounds like he ought to be doing porn movies, he cant keep his pants on."

    I agree that he's not good for the patrol. THAT is why the patrol is fighting his return. But jail time? For what?

  • jgirl5830 Oct 25, 2007

    sda 1980 are you kidding me??? If you don't mind me asking where does he work? Like I said earlier NC is far behind on the pay scale, a lot of these small towns barely pay a living wage to men and woman who risk their lives, thats sad. My husband is very lucky, he does well, although I think he deserves it!!

  • dmtmom Oct 25, 2007

    Gosh ladies...my husband is in law enforcement - in his 4th year and he makes less than 30...I am a teacher and I make more than he does...(SAD)

  • mramorak Oct 25, 2007

    I think i want to join because its been way too long!

  • podtalk Oct 25, 2007

    Yes, I'm talking about Poarch. What kind of a reputation is he giving the HP? Not a very good one, sounds like he ought to be doing porn movies, he cant keep his pants on.

  • leo-nc Oct 25, 2007

    Who are you talking about? Poarch?