Local News

Judge rules demoted trooper should get back job

Posted November 18, 2009 6:39 p.m. EST

— A Superior Court Judge has sided with an administrative law judge who ruled a state trooper should not have been demoted for allegedly using a racial slur.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol demoted trooper Mitch Foard from first sergeant to trooper after an investigation determined he left a slur on a colleague's voicemail in 2006.

Foard has denied making the slurs, and Administrative Law Judge Joe Webster ruled last November that Foard should get his job back.

Webster raised questions about the Highway Patrol's investigation, citing interrogation tactics and the quality of a recording of the voice mail message.

In February, the State Personnel Commission upheld the demotion based on his admission to an internal affairs investigator that it was his voice on the tape.

The case was appealed to Superior Court, and Judge Henry Hight agreed the Highway Patrol did not have substantial evidence to demote Foard.

The Highway Patrol has 30 days to appeal.