WRAL Investigates

Sergeant fired amid Raleigh police probe

Posted July 7, 2011 6:51 p.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2011 10:43 a.m. EDT

— 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. 

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.