Highway Patrol facing another scandal?

June 21, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
The ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned a high-ranking state trooper has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation.Major Everett Clendenin has spent nine years as the public face of the state Highway Patrol.

A week and a half ago, Clendenin was defending the Highway Patrol by telling ABC11 that the troopers who have recently resigned and been under investigation are the minority.

"Less than one half of one percent of our employees get into activities they shouldn't engage in," he said.

His comment came after a Wake County trooper resigned earlier this month amidst an investigation of alleged misconduct. That trooper was just the latest in a long line of troopers being investigated for everything from inappropriate sex, to K-9 abuse, to drunk driving, and deadly accidents.

ABC11's I-Team did some checking, and in the last three years, the patrol has had to fire at least five troopers and has accepted at least six resignations.

Now, the I-Team has been tipped off about Clendenin himself. He is currently the focus of an internal investigation at the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.

Earlier this month, Clendenin told ABC11 the Highway Patrol does not tolerate misconduct.

"From time to time, like any other organizations, people make mistakes and do things they shouldn't do, but it's our duty to make sure when they do that we take the appropriate action," he said.

In March, Clendenin was promoted to the rank of Major after 22 years with the Highway Patrol. In his new role, he oversees the IT unit, and the logistics section that handles all the equipment troopers need on the road.

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