Text messages released in trooper resignation

June 30, 2010 5:29:46 PM PDT
State officials released text and email messages Wednesday related to the investigation of North Carolina Highway Patrol Major Everett Clendenin.

Clendenin - once the main spokesperson for the Patrol - resigned June 23 after he was placed on administrative leave. Officials said they were investigating allegations he sent inappropriate text messages.

Text messages released to ABC11 Wednesday span a three-month period from April to June and include hundreds of communications.

Only the messages from Clendenin were released - not the replies from a woman who sources say was a coworker.

Clendenin calls her pet names like "Baby" and "Cutie" and says things like "You were on fire last night," and "Gonna have some fun ;)"

Click here to read all the text messages

In mid May, Clendenin tells the woman: "We all need a Halo and u are mine!!!!!!!" Later in the month, he messages: "This is why I luv u. Tell me more. Lol"

Clendenin was the spokesperson for the Highway Patrol for nine years.

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

Clendenin released a statement after he resigned - saying in part, "I have used poor judgment concerning a matter. However I have not engaged in a sexual relationship with a co-worker. I have apologized to Colonel Glover for the embarrassment my actions have caused."

Clendenin's resignation came amidst a series of embarrassments for the Highway Patrol. Officers have been investigated for everything from inappropriate sex, K-9 abuse, posting inappropriate videos online and drunk driving.

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 eight resignations.

Just days after Clendenin's resignation, Trooper Timothy Scott Stiwinter was charged with drunken driving and felony hit and run after a wreck in Asheville. He resigned the next day.

Problems within the Patrol have irritated Governor Beverly Perdue who told reporters last week:

"This is just a mark on the patrol. It's wrong. And everybody from Murphy to Manteo has to shape up and understand that zero tolerance is enforced in this administration," she said. "It's an absolutely unacceptable behavior. And I don't care if it started yesterday or 30-years ago. Zero tolerance is the guideline and the litmus test. And I mean it."

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