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Officers group wants investigation of Highway Patrol

Posted July 2, 2010

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— The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association on Friday called for an investigation into the state Highway Patrol, saying the recent resignation of the agency's longtime spokesman demonstrates problems within the agency.

Maj. Everett Clendenin, who served as spokesman for the state agency for nine years, resigned last week amid an internal investigation into inappropriate text messages to his secretary.

The Highway Patrol on Wednesday released hundreds of text messages from Clendenin that included flirting and terms of endearment.

Clendenin has said there was no physical contact between himself and the secretary, and he said in a statement that he used "poor judgment" in sending the messages.

“Is Mr. Clendenin going to be charged for misuse of state property for his personal use of patrol equipment? Will he be required to reimburse the taxpayers for his time while playing his titillating little games?” PBA executive director John Midgette said in a statement.

Midgette criticized Clendenin's handling of several previous trooper misconduct cases, saying his public statements "caused grave harm" to several troopers.

"He has been an embarrassment to the patrol and the whole state for years," Midgette said. "His departure will hopefully help the patrol rebuild some of its integrity."

Clendenin blasted back Friday night, saying, "Midgette's release is ridiculous and inaccurate, as are most of his comments about the Highway Patrol. Midgette is known for offering statements on topics he knows nothing about.”

The PBA wants Gov. Bev Perdue to order an independent investigation of the Highway Patrol's management. Perdue and patrol commander Col. Randy Glover have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for trooper misconduct cases.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Ladybug Jul 2, 2010

    I certainly don't approve of what this officer did, however, she, the secretary participated as well and if you're going to drag him thru the mud, then drag her too. Let's see her text messages to him. I'm sure the HP has much more important matters to address such as Troopers having sex in their patrol cars and troopers mistreating their trained dogs. Get a life and leave this issue alone. The man has resigned and apologized to his family - give it a rest.

  • ceciliamomof2 Jul 2, 2010

    rmabe those that want all the investigations done need to look no futher than their nose. these troopers are human GOD is the only one sinless. and who investigates when someone was fire just because certain adminstrative troopers are jealous, and look for any little thing make it up, and then tells troopers association to drop the case. fired good troopers cause they dont lick your pride. invest those who have been fired for very little cause and quit playing GOD THEY risk their lives for ours very day while adminstration sits behind a desk trying to find ways to fire good guys what a waste of wages there you go let adminstration start working the road, working differnt shifts work without getting a break to eat or go to the bathroom. we could save alot of money and maybe they will see a different light and learn to appreciate the road troopers, i feel sorry for those that get smeared try wearing there shoes and that goes for the real higher ups/////////

  • wolfnuke Jul 2, 2010

    "Accreditation requires documentation of performance and due process in disciplinary matters, but agen cies still must control their personnel."

    I do understand the process. Used to when you screwed up and were caught you were punished or fired. Now they are required to provide that "due process" which means they are required to provide documentation of your performance. So they are required to write you up several times and must perform an exhaustive investigation, all while the person is on Paid administrative leave, before they can make a decision on punishment. Troopers don't fear being punished because they know they will be given plenty of time to resign after they screw up instead of being fired on the spot.

    My problem is that it required them to change the methods that had worked for decades for no reason at all. No agency is required to be accredited, but they have an entire office of people that do nothing but waste resources making sure they meet the rules of CALEA

  • braddavis Jul 2, 2010

    I say we check John Midgette's text messages on his PBA issued phone and see what he's been up to. I wouldn't throw stones if I potentially lived in a glass house. Maybe Midgette applied to Patrol School and was denied and is just angry. It's a shame that agencies fighter for a common cause can't support one another, right or wrong. I'm certainly not saying that what Clendenin did was right(because it wasn't), but I say if we search within any LEO agency(or any company in the private sector), we'd find the same problems. Basically, someone is just on a witch hunt and grey shirts have a target on their back...........

  • leo-nc Jul 2, 2010

    Disband them and we would be the only state without a highway patrol or state police organization. See how that works out for ya. Never mind the Criminal Interdiction unit, aviation unit, fugitive task force, anti-terrorism task force and the numerous other things the SHP does. Pfft.... Some of the comments from the readers here are laughable at best.

  • Centurian Jul 2, 2010

    Wolfnuke, you don't really understand law enforcement accreditation if you think it mandates "2nd chances" for misconduct. Accreditation requires documentation of performance and due process in disciplinary matters, but agen cies still must control their personnel.

    Unfortuately, the culture of the old-fashioned Highway Patrol no longer serve today's society with our changed expectations of policing. New leadership is needed in SHP, to include a Commander (Chief/colonel/Director) that comes from outside the organization and has new original ideas. A new Secretary of Crime Control & Public Safety must also be considered.

    PS- The PBA's complaint carries about as much weight as a gripe from the Raleigh Mayor....each will get media coverage but mean absolutely nothing of any substance beyond political posturing.

  • wolfnuke Jul 2, 2010

    First off he wasn't fired, he quit a week after an investigation was started, so it is his own fault he doesn't have his $92,922/year job anymore.

    The accreditation process that the patrol adopted a few years ago has been the downfall. Accreditation takes all agencies and tries to make them equal, which means bringing down the good as much as improving the bad. Before that the patrol did not tolerate idiots in uniform, but now they are required to give too many '2nd chances'. They also now have a promotion process that does not require skill or leadership, but just requires someone to be good at studying and taking written exams.

    And jackieflash42, that idea would have worked 85 years ago when the patrol was first created, but now there is no way to work it out. I would say over 95% of sheriff offices do not train their staff on doing accident reports, and most now do not even train them to perform breathalyzer tests, they rely on the patrol to pick up and process drunks they stop.

  • Bellamia Jul 2, 2010

    What a hypocrite! In my opinion you have no integrity John Midgette. I think thats pretty bad to defame Clendenin like that. He didnt do anything that deserved that. Sounds to me like Midgette boy was jealous of the attention he was getting.

  • hollylama Jul 2, 2010

    LovetheSouth...its about professionalism and personal integrity. If he'll cross the boundary in one area he'll likely cross it in others. I'm sure if they dug more they would find more. Hence his resignation.

  • hollylama Jul 2, 2010

    I agree Jackie...with all the budget cuts I think the Sheriffs and Highway patrol need to spend less time cruising. As one officer put it, "all I do is ride around". Went to the gas station the other day and the sheriffs car was parked outside...RUNNING (no dog in car). And he was inside chatting it up with his friends.