Local Politics

GOP chief calls for ouster of Highway Patrol commander

Posted July 12, 2010 2:44 p.m. EDT

— The chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party said Monday that the commander of the beleaguered state Highway Patrol needs to be replaced by someone outside the agency.

"I think it needs somebody that's apolitical, without political connections, who's not a current political appointee of the administration – somebody who's truly independent and will have job security," Tom Fetzer said during a news conference.

The patrol has been battered by a string of misconduct cases involving state troopers and ranking officers. A number have been have been disciplined or fired in recent years for offenses that included profiling young women for traffic stops, drunken driving, animal abuse and having sex on duty.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said she is standing behind patrol commander Col. Randy Glover, whom she appointed last year. She has given him and Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben Young 60 days to develop restructuring plan for the agency.

State law says leadership of the Highway Patrol can come only from the governor, the secretary of crime control and public safety or within the patrol's ranks. The law apparently was passed to ensure the patrol's leadership had familiarity and experience with the agency.

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Fetzer has the luxury of commenting without having to make any real decisions.