Raleigh, N.C. — Two State Capitol Police officials were fired two months ago after an internal investigation showed they allowed officers to use state patrol cars for off-duty security work and squirreled away fees charged for the work for their own benefit, according to documents released Wednesday.
Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan recently issued his final decision in grievances filed by Acting Chief Antonio Asion and Sgt. Benjamin Franklin after their terminations.
According to Shanahan's findings, Asion allowed Capitol Police officers to work at Club B.E.D. on Capital Boulevard in north Raleigh without proper approval and later characterized it as "official duty." Some officers were allowed to complete off-duty paperwork on state time, and officers, on at least two occasions, were paid by the state while making arrests at the club, the findings state.
The Raleigh Police Department and Wake County Sheriff's Office consider Club B.E.D. too dangerous and refuse to allow their officers to work there off-duty, Shanahan said. He noted that someone once fired a gun at a Capitol Police officer outside the club but missed.
"You placed your employees in harm's way without considering the danger and without ensuring they had appropriate workers compensation coverage," he wrote in his April 5 decision. "Further, you exposed the state to unnecessary liability by having SCP employees in this dangerous situation."
Shanahan also determined that Asion charged the club owner an extra fee for the use of state patrol cars, which was then deposited into the bank account of a specially created nonprofit. Rather than pay for gas or vehicle maintenance, money from the account was used to buy coffee, flowers and shirts and pay for the Capitol Police holiday party, the findings state.
In his April 8 decision for Franklin, Shanahan determined that he helped set up the nonprofit bank account and even paid himself a $773 "administrative fee" from the account. He also said he didn't believe Franklin's claim that he didn't know it was against the law to use state-owned vehicles for off-duty work.
Both men have 30 days to appeal their dismissals to the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Asion joined the State Bureau of Investigation two years ago and became acting chief last October, following the death of Chief Scott Hunter. Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen was recently named chief of the agency.
Franklin worked with the State Capitol Police for more than 18 years.