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Highway Patrol says investigator violated no policies

Posted November 14, 2008

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— The North Carolina Highway Patrol says a former internal affairs investigator did not violate the state agency's policy while probing a racial slur left on a trooper's voicemail.

The decision comes following administrative law Judge Joe Webster's ruling last week that trooper Mitch Foard should be reinstated as a first sergeant because Capt. Ken Castelloe's 2006 investigation of the message was inadequate and unreasonable.

According to Webster's decision, Castelloe said during the investigation he had the voicemail message authenticated but later testified that was not true.

Webster said the investigation was not objective, because Castelloe never asked to hear the original voicemail and never interviewed Lt. Virgil Lessane, who made the accusation.

Bryan Beatty, secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said in a statement Friday that he and Highway Patrol Commander Col. Walter Wilson reviewed Webster's decision as well as evidence from the hearing and met with attorneys who represented the state in the hearing.

"After reviewing the recommended decision and discussing the judge’s findings with the attorneys, we are completely satisfied that Capt. Castelloe did not violate Highway Patrol policy or otherwise engage in any wrongful conduct," he said.

Webster also questioned the message's validity and found Lessane's credibility to be in question, saying he had knowingly violated Highway Patrol rules and deceived his superiors.

That should have been a factor when officials were deciding whether to demote Foard, he said.

Foard has been with the Highway Patrol since 1985. Webster noted that he had never received any formal discipline and had above-standard ratings on performance evaluations prior to his demotion.

Webster's recommendation has been forwarded to the state personnel commission, which could rule on the matter as early as Dec. 11.

Castelloe, who headed the Internal Affairs Unit, was reassigned last year following a minor traffic wreck in which he was involved after concerns about how he handled the wreck.

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  • thinkb4uspeakplz Nov 17, 2008

    Lets see what the colonel(because he is lower case)does to promote his blood line dictator..nepotism at its finest. Send ol Duggydall a 5th to get him to say its otay. Hey deputy commander hatchet man, quit playing the good ole country boy. You and Nichols have been figured out. Happy politics

  • thinkb4uspeakplz Nov 14, 2008

    I did good to get one post through... I'll go to another open post called the DOJ Why have they not been in. Oh the HP are in with the FBI for the National Academy. It is all falling into place now

  • thinkb4uspeakplz Nov 14, 2008

    Hey, Everett can you say C I V I L suit... its a coming to a road near you. Oh you live on it......

  • thinkb4uspeakplz Nov 14, 2008

    How has wilson made it worse itn such a short time... I guess they got mad e when Colonel Sandy approved Trooper Fords transfer after Lockley retired.

  • D Kaine Nov 14, 2008

    Wow.. This story has made national news...The whole country will know the incomptency of the leadership of the HP.... Thanks guys

  • chfdcpt Nov 14, 2008

    Am I the only one that finds something extremely wrong when the top law enforcement agency in NC, which is sworn not only to protect and defend the Constitutions of the US and NC; and to enforce the laws in a fair and just way consistently deciding to ignore the rulings of an administrative judge (still a judge nonetheless) and keep appealing?

    And we keep sending the same politicians back to Raleigh. Oh well, we reaped what we sowed.

  • D Kaine Nov 14, 2008

    They have to have something to read on Monday morning during the briefings

  • D Kaine Nov 14, 2008

    Adam that was my ADD acting up...Sorry

  • D Kaine Nov 14, 2008

    Adam I just like causing people to think...

  • D Kaine Nov 14, 2008

    CHatan Adam did you do to Duke you have very observant

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