Local Politics

Perdue talks to DMV chief about overseeing Highway Patrol

Posted July 9, 2010 2:58 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2010 4:09 p.m. EDT

— The head of the state Division of Motor Vehicles is under consideration to take charge of the beleaguered state Highway Patrol.

Gov. Beverly Perdue has spoken with DMV Commissioner Mike Robertson about possibly overseeing the patrol, Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said Friday.

Robertson, who retired as a State Bureau of Investigation agent, previously led the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement and served as a state trooper.

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.

Perdue has given Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben Young and patrol commander Col. Randy Glover 60 days to develop restructuring plan for the agency.

Some lawmakers and political observers have questioned why Perdue didn't replace Glover, whom she picked last year to lead the patrol. The two have known each other for years.

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.

It's unclear whether Robertson could be reinstated as a member of the patrol or whether he could assume some other leadership role within the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety to comply with the law.

In addition to restructuring the patrol, Perdue has made ethics training and a mandatory for all troopers. Patrol managers also would receive more leadership training.