Local News

Long-time Highway Patrol spokesman resigns amid probe

Posted June 23, 2010

— The long-time face of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol resigned Wednesday amid an internal investigation into inappropriate text messages to his secretary.

Maj. Everett Clendenin, who served as spokesman for the state agency for nine years, had been on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe, which began last week.

"I have used poor judgment concerning a matter, however I have not engaged in a sexual relationship with a co-worker," Clendenin said in a statement. "I have apologized to (Highway Patrol Commander) Col. (Randy) Glover for the embarrassment my actions have caused."

Clendenin, who had been with the patrol since May 1988, was promoted to major in March and served as the head of its Support Services.

He began working in the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety's Public Affairs Office as a sergeant in December 2001, and in recent years, defended the patrol's integrity after several cases of trooper misconduct – ranging from profiling to sexual misconduct to animal abuse.

Clendenin told WRAL News that there was no physical contact between him and the secretary in the matter that is under investigation.

N.C. Highway Patrol Capt. Everett Clendenin Highway Patrol spokesman resigns

Reuben Young, secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, declined to comment specifically on the text messages or anymore about the case but said Clendenin offered his resignation willingly.

"He's been a good employee for 22 years," Young said. "I think this incident, unfortunately, will be a reflection on his career and the commitment he had to the Highway Patrol."

Both Gov. Beverly Perdue and Glover have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct issues – a measure, Young said, to which the Patrol is committed to keep the confidence and trust of the people.

"I think 99 percent of the members of the Highway Patrol get up every day committed to doing a good job, – and I would dare say, do a good job," Young said. "I think it's unfortunate that when you have incidences that involve individuals who make bad decisions that it's a reflection on the patrol."

In May, Glover sent a memo to all troopers saying those who embarrass the organization would be "dealt with."

"It's unfortunate, from time to time, that we have people who make bad decisions, exercise poor judgment," Young said. "And when they do that, we address those issues within the confines and the policies of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol."

271 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Bellamia Jul 2, 3:41 p.m.

    I'm really sad and upset by this. Did she once tell him to stop? Sounds like to me she led him on and enjoyed the attention for three months. They lost a very good man out of this.

  • fischer Jul 2, 9:59 a.m.

    I dunno but it seems to me to be getting worse quickly with SHP. The state needs to do something to regain the citizens trust in SHP and all of our tax payer $$ that go there!

    "The messages show that Clendenin sent the woman some 2,640 text messages in April, May and June. Many of the messages were sent during overnight hours with flirtatious notes calling the recipient "sweetie" or "baby" and accompanied by heart symbols."

  • genralwayne Jun 30, 2:40 p.m.

    I simply find it offensive that the state politicos tout a zero-tolerance policy on one segment of our government when the elected "leaders" consider themselves above such scrutiny. I'd take Clendenin's scruples over Perdue's and 90% of the legislature any day. Ridiculous!

  • pss2 Jun 30, 2:37 p.m.

    I am sure his secretary is as pure as the driven snow.

  • Mtn Man Jun 30, 2:31 p.m.

    Go ahead and celebrate, but the roads of NC lost a good man today.

  • Hokies94 Jun 30, 2:27 p.m.

    He simply used poor judgement. He should have known that texting and emailing can kill a career. I thought that he did a good job when he was interviewed on many occasions. To lose his job and affect his retirement is going to be tough.

  • Corporal Snark Jun 30, 2:26 p.m.

    I am glad the text messages and e-mails are going to see the light of day! I wonder if the former Major's ardent defenders will retract any of their blind excuses for his behavior...

  • ncmedic201 Jun 24, 5:09 p.m.

    Obviously quite a few have been promoted and/or given appointments. Positions become available thru attrition annually I would imagine. It's not like he didn't have the years in service and education to support his position.

  • mdbrown1021 Jun 24, 5:01 p.m.

    He may or may not be able to get another job in law enforcement, it depends on the offense he has committed and whether training and standards allows him to keep his certification.

    The Governor has gone on record saying that she wants the Highway Patrol cleaned up from the coast to the mountains, so I don't think it matters what the offense is at this point, everything is viewed under a zero tolerance policy.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 24, 4:50 p.m.

    "So 4 promotions in 9+ years is a lot? Especially considering his education? - ncmedic201"

    How many other similarly qualified troopers who weren't politically connected have even gotten one promotion during their career much less 4 promotions.

    Getting promoted to Major is a political appointment. It's not a promotion.

More...