Local News

2 Ex-Troopers Fight to Regain Jobs

Posted December 12, 2007
Updated December 13, 2007

— Two former state Highway Patrol troopers fired for misconduct took steps this week in the fight to get their jobs back.

Trooper Monty Poarch, who was fired in 2003 for having sex in his patrol car and at his trooper station, asked the State Personnel Commission to reinstate him.

An administrative law judge ordered the Highway Patrol in September to reinstate Poarch, now a lieutenant with the sheriff's department in Caldwell County, and provide him with back pay. The judge ruled that the patrol was inconsistent in its discipline of trooper misconduct, so firing Poarch for egregious conduct was unwarranted.

The Highway Patrol disagreed with the judge's ruling, sending the case to the Personnel Commission. There was no word on when a decision would be made.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Charles Jones filed suit against the state, alleging that procedures were violated when he was fired in September.

Jones coordinated K-9 training for the Highway Patrol, and a fellow patrolman turned over a cell phone video of Jones using allegedly abusive training techniques with his police dog, Ricoh.

Court documents described the incident, which began when Ricoh refused to release a chew reward, as Jones tying the dog's leash to a high railing so that only his hind legs touched the ground, then kicking the dog four times to leave the animal dangling its leash and collar.

In his lawsuit, Jones cites training techniques the general public might not understand.

Tracy Bowling, who trains bloodhounds for the Wake County Sheriff's Office, declined to judge Jones without knowing all the facts but said there is a difference between training and protecting against attack by a K-9.

"Anything like choking a dog out or stringing him up and pulling him up to keep him away from you, these are all defensive tactics," Bowling said. "I don't think anything we would do in the training of police dogs or personal pets or anything else the average person would view as inhumane or cruel to the dog."

After the incident came to light, Highway Patrol Commander Col. W. Fletcher Clay ordered a complete review of the force's K-9 program.

Jones' suit alleges he was fired without just cause – "higher powers" ordered Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty to fire him – and that proper procedures weren't followed.

He claims he was unfairly singled out because the Highway Patrol was receiving unwanted attention for trooper misconduct and because of the arrest of pro football player Michael Vick on dog fighting charges.

"Termination is not only outrageous, but obviously the wrong call here and was done in a manner that ignored the rule of law," said John Midgette, executive director of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association.

103 Comments

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  • skydiver Dec 14, 6:29 p.m.

    Raindog - I agree. If a citizen kicked the officer (dog) they would be charged with assault on a government official. Release the video and charge him. Let a jury decide it he is guilty.

  • leo-nc Dec 14, 2:00 p.m.

    Wow. I have quickly learned that Golo is full of conspiracy theorists and the uninformed. Amazing.

  • RAINDOG Dec 14, 12:05 p.m.

    AS FOR THE TROOPER THAT HAD SEX IN HIS PATROL CAR AND THE STATION OFFICE . YOU MESSED UP...PLAIN AND SIMPLE AND YOU'RE NOT GETTING YOUR JOB BACK.

  • RAINDOG Dec 14, 11:55 a.m.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG....I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS , THIS DOG WAS CONSIDERED A LAW ENFORCEMEMT OFFICER AND THE TROOPER THAT DID THIS SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH "ASSULT ON A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL". THEN A LARGE FINE, 500HRS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE,LEGENTHY PROBATION, ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASSES AND NEVER GET HIS JOB BACK.
    IT IS A SLAP IN THE FACE OF ALL CITIZENS OF NORTH CAROLINA TO HAVE SOMEONE LIKE THIS HIDING BEHIND A BADGE OF AUTHORITY.

  • Unfair Moderators Stink Dec 14, 10:20 a.m.

    I just heard this morning what this officer did to his K-9 partner and as far as I'm concerned he should never get his job back or be allowed around animals in any capacity. Because the dog did not want to give back a chew toy this officer hung him by the neck from a post that left only his back legs on the ground. Reports are that he then kicked the animal 3 or 4 times and which left this poor animal swinging and kicking for dear life. I don't care what type of dog this was --- NO animal deserves this. Shameful. Absolutely, positively shameful.

  • dmtmom Dec 14, 8:38 a.m.

    AnnaMarie - I did not mean to imply that using force was the ONLY way to train a working dog...however the point that I was trying to make is that these methods are very much alive and I do not think that the public is aware - therefore when this story came out I think that the public was outraged...that being said my husband as well is a k9 handler and I have never once witnessed him KICKING his dog...ever...I find it very difficult to justify this account of what happened...
    That being said I have been to several police k9 training schools, some in this area...and I HAVE at ALL OF THESE SCHOOLS seen that these dogs are trained FORCEFULLY!!! Do I think that it is forceful to the point of cruelty, no but that is my own personal opinion. Is force the only way to train an animal...I think not!

  • Polly Dec 14, 12:03 a.m.

    PDMartin, respectfully, you don't get it and no, I'm not insane. This dog is not Benji or Lassie or a pet; he is a law enforcement equivalent of a gun or other crime fighting device. I am a both animal lover and owner; these dogs are different and the treatment/care of them has to be judged differently. Read the N&O today; Sgt Jones was supported by those w/ similar training.

  • reality4sure Dec 13, 7:47 p.m.

    parr4246:

    So you don't think they deserve the same constitutional rights as you when accused of a crime or misconduct? You support denying someone of their constitutional rights and the opportunity to be heard, because they wear a badge? OK, contact your congressman and amend the US Constitution. Tell the Governor you want State Personnel Law abolished. Change law!

    You said: "The officers should practice what they preach and the laws they are taught to enforce!" I agree. Why don't we do away with courts and try accused on this website. We can use polls, blogs and hearsay to anonymously voice our personal biased feelings to dispense justice.

    "NCSHP should count their blessings that they are rid of these two officers and maybe they should go through and clean house and rid themselves of the other bad apples left in the barrel!" I'm sure they are counting THEIR blessings, the courts will determine if the SHP disciplined them fairly.

  • parr4246 Dec 13, 6:36 p.m.

    reality4sure..............."Law Enforcement Officers deserve no less!"

    The officers should practice what they preach and the laws they are taught to enforce.......................!!!!!

    NCSHP should count their blessings that they are rid of these two officers..............and maybe they should go through and clean house and rid themselves of the other bad apples left in the barrel..............!!!!

  • kota29472 Dec 13, 6:27 p.m.

    DOGS and KIDS, dont punish them,be tough,just shake your finger at them,theyll be good.YEAH RIGHT.When the both know they wont be held for their deeds, they will BOTH BITE YOU
    And how many of you town cryers have ever TRAINED a BIG dog,not one of those little garbage dogs...

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