Questions continue to swirl around trooper's resignation

July 1, 2010 8:47:15 PM PDT
Questions continue to surround the resignation of one of the top officers in the North Carolina Highway Patrol.Major Everett Clendenin stepped down last week after thousands of text messages surfaced that he'd sent to a subordinate, suggesting an affair.

Clendenin was the face of the Highway Patrol for years, often having to respond to other troopers indiscretions and that's why his text messages are so surprising to many.

The 2,600 text messages Clendenin sent were released to the public on Wednesday.

Click here to read all the text messages

However, what haven't been released are the replies to Clendenin's text messages sent from a personal phone, but stored on a state phone.

Despite ABC11's open records request and legal opinions --if it's on a taxpayer purchased phone, it should be public information-- there has been no response.

But the governor's spokesperson says she is working on a plan with Highway Patrol Colonel Randy Glover and to expect some action on this early next week.

In the meantime, Clendenin has not spoken to ABC11 Eyewitness News since his resignation. Begging the question is there more information on his phone or computer that the public doesn't know about?

Digital forensics expert Giovani Masucci says if it existed, there's a good chance can be retrieved.

"With technology now, you really can't get away with anything," he said. "Eventually, you will be caught."

Erica Baldwin with the North Carolina Employee's Association says people who work for the state should know when using state equipment; they shouldn't assume a right to privacy.

"It's subject, as far as I understand, to the open records act," she said.

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