Local News

Judge: Patrol text messages not public record

Posted July 21, 2010

— A Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that text messages received on a state Highway Patrol employee's cell phone were not considered public record.

WRAL and other media organizations had filed a legal complaint to obtain all text messages sent to former Highway Patrol spokesman Maj. Everett Clendenin from his secretary Pam Maynard on the grounds that they were public information because they were received on Clendenin's state-issued Blackberry. The messages were sent from Maynard's person cell phone.

Clendenin, who served as spokesman for the state agency for nine years, resigned last month amid an internal investigation into inappropriate text messages to Maynard.

On June 9, Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben Young released a series of messages exchanged between Maynard and Clendenin in April through June. In addition to the business-related messages that were released, officials mistakenly released personal messages, including a conversation log between Maynard and Clendenin during May.

In total, the two exchanged thousands of text messages over a three-month period.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 23, 2010

    If he did do them on his personal cell phone then it shouldn't be public, but he shouldn't be texting on the job, & I want leave her out, but if it was on the HP cell, that tax payers pay then it should be public.

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 23, 2010

    itsmyownopinion I agree with you. The children is the worry, & they both were involved & she isn't a victim, & neither is he. They both knew what they were doing. They should have fired her if they haven't, my money shouldn't have to pay for either one.

    I can respect that it isn't public. The wife of him should know what they said, & if she had a husband he should know.

  • ltcnfaymartin Jul 22, 2010

    I would like to know how he sent her so many text messages against her will. And also why we don't know her name, we know his.

  • itsmyownopinion Jul 22, 2010

    "I think we all get the picture. A respected individual allowed himself to get in a compromising postition with another man's wife. I think we should respect the innocent victims of this adulterous relationship. As a husband going through the pain caused by an unfaithful wife, I would rather not have all the humilation and rejection my wife and her lover caused me and our children spread all over the news for everyone to see. This man resigned and if this woman is involved with the NCSHP she should do one last act of integrity and resign as well. End of story. We need more organizations to take a staunch stand against immoral, selfish, disrespectful actions like this."

    I totally agree with you. I don't want my tax dollars paying her salary. She was obviously a willing participant, not a victim of on the job sexual harassment.

  • djmlibra79 Jul 22, 2010

    Yeah, if the texts had been done on his own personal cell phone, no problem, they should stay confidential. However they were on a phone paid for by the taxpayers to be used as a work phone. Also tax dollars pay for the service for the phone which the texts were sent to and from. We are not paying for our highway patrol employees to have these phones and service so they can use them for their own personal agendas. I think the correspondences in question should most definitely be public domain! Our law enforcement personnel may be only human like the rest of us, but they are supposed to exhibit the highest possible moral fiber and be role models to our youth. What is our world coming to? Nevermind, I already know...

  • notagain1903 Jul 22, 2010

    They should not be public records if DONE ON THEIR OWN TIME. The problem is that the records WILL show they are being done on tax payers time and furnished equipment!! They also need to put tracking devices in every patrol car to monitor where they say they are and how long they are stopped and where. I see so many cop cars sitting 2 - 3 together in parking lots or on the side of the road for long periods of time. Not to mention fast food restuarants for over an hour!! they are called fast food for a reason get in and get out now get back to work!!

  • fischer Jul 22, 2010

    Huh? Tax payer dollars paid for it, how is it not public record? Ditto for the laptops in the cruisers.... Something smells and hopefully the media will appeal the judge's decision.

  • Sauratownmtn Jul 22, 2010

    If he knew it why didn't he wise up and think about his 22 yr. career with the NCSHP.....
    He just might have been set up....

  • Sauratownmtn Jul 22, 2010

    Text messages that is listed on WRAL talks about her taking him down....
    Clendenin 5/4/2010 16:08 You should be here.
    Clendenin 5/4/2010 16:08 Instead of plotting with your crowd. Lol
    Pam 5/4/2010 16:09 Ok...u didn't ask Íž). I'm with t!!
    Pam 5/4/2010 16:09 We r coming up with ways to take u down!!!
    Clendenin 5/4/2010 16:09 Plotters I knew it. :'(

  • ncmedic201 Jul 22, 2010

    Does anyone actually know for a fact that she is still on the job? I don't think it has been reported whether she is still there or not.