WRAL Investigates

Sergeant fired amid Raleigh police probe

Posted July 7, 2011
Updated July 8, 2011

— A Raleigh police sergeant who was placed on administrative leave earlier this year amid an internal investigation into officer misconduct has been fired, a spokesman said Thursday. 

Sgt. Rick Armstrong was among three officers from the department’s Southeast District Substation who were placed on leave. At least one other officer resigned. 

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Armstrong was fired June 28. He had been with the department since 1997. Sughrue would not elaborate on the reason for the termination. 

Police Chief Harry Dolan said in February that the department's Internal Affairs Unit was nearing completion on a comprehensive investigation into a 2009 police officer complaint that, sources said, had to do with officers having sex with a prostitute.

"The charges against me I'm innocent of," Armstrong said Thursday. "The allegations of prostitutes and sex have nothing to do with the charges that are against me." 

For legal reasons, Armstrong declined to say exactly what he is accused of. 

Armstrong said he plans to appeal his dismissal. 

"I will stand up for myself and do what is right and to fight for the truth," he said. 

Armstrong is the former president of the Raleigh Police Protective Association, a professional association that represents the interests of police officers and a member of the state Law Enforcement Training and Standards Commission.

"We stand behind Officer Armstrong 100 percent and have full confidence that he'll be successful in battling the charges against him," RPPA President Officer Eric DeSimone said. 

Rick Armstrong, president, Raleigh Police Protective Association Sergeant fired amid Raleigh police probe

Armstrong's wife, Nancy, said the situation has been painful. 

"He's always been loyal and faithful to me and my family, a dedicated police officer," Nancy Armstrong said. "It's hurtful what we've had to go through, but I support him and I will continue to support him every step of the way." 

Officer M.C. Rominski was fired last month amid the internal probe. Police would not elaborate on the reason for his firing.


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  • SpaceRokr Jul 14, 2011

    Respones to hereandnow:
    - Spread of disease to others.
    - Private businesses are licensed and thus do business within bounds.
    - Yes, a person's liberty is and should be restricted when it damages others.
    - Only to the extent to protect life and property, per the Constitution. In this sense, Liberty means not being in jail without warrant. Pursuit of happiness is at issue. If your pursuit of happiness includes spreading disease to others, that affects their Life. If your Liberty affects others, you are held to this atandard, one way or another. To lessen the way of violence, laws that the government enforces are justifiable.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 11, 2011

    @WritNEWlaws, thanks for the black and white thinking. ;-) Allow me to rephrase...

    (deep breath)

    Why do you care what consenting adults do with their own bodies?

    Isn’t restricting prostitution the same as shutting down a private business?

    Isn’t restricting prostitution a removal of a person liberty?

    And, if you’re a self-professed “less government” person, how do you justify your restrictions of consenting adults, private business & personal liberty?

  • bosshog Jul 11, 2011

    Bohican-Very well said...it's a shame that others are so quick to judge when presented with such limited facts. For their sake, they better hope they are never fasely accused because everyone knows what they say about karma...

    If you look at this objectively, you have a Sergeant with 14 years of having an immpecable record who stood up for the rights of law enforcement officers for the past 10 years without hesitation, and a member of the NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards board. It is clear that Chief Dolan felt threatened by Armstrong because he had more control over the rank and file than the Chief did.

    The ability to look at situations such as this objectively and leave judgement to the man upstairs until all the facts are presented really speaks to man's level of intelligence and character...much more so than making jokes about "sour pickles"...

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 8, 2011

    like the other stories in the news, some look like they didn't go far enough and others look like over kill.

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Jul 8, 2011

    Wheres AMANDADEAN on this one? LOL

  • LongHorns Jul 8, 2011

    I'm telling you if Chief Dolan approved his firing, this guy needed it. The chief wont back down either, this firing will stand.

  • bosshog Jul 8, 2011

    Winston-He told WRAL he couldn't give the reasons for termination because he is appealing it.
    WritNEWlaws-You can speculate and ASSume all you want but really, what do you know to be factual?

  • skinnygranny Jul 8, 2011

    Another one down. State troopers, cops, Wayne Co. sheriffs, seems like they are all dirty in N.C.

  • timbo10.0 Jul 8, 2011

    "I'm not the lease surprised with police activities. There are some very good Raleigh Police officers ... but plenty of creepy officers too."

    If you try reading what he said, he indicates he was not part of that group, but that this was a separate issue.

  • WritNEWlaws Jul 8, 2011

    @ hereandnow99- This is not Las Vegas. LEOs are supposed to have morals and uphold the law. Prostitution is against the law!