New messages released in Trooper resignation

July 11, 2010 4:19:56 AM PDT
State officials released new text messages Friday 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 last month span a three-month period from April to June and include hundreds of communications.

At the time, only the messages from Clendenin were released - not the replies from a woman who sources say was his secretary.

Click here to read the first batch of text messages

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

Friday, following repeated Freedom of Information Act requests by ABC11, officials released some of the replies from the woman, but not all. They still refuse to release messages they deem to be of a personal nature.

Click here to read the second batch of messages

On Saturday, Clendenin released the following statement to Eyewitness News, regarding the new text messages: "There was never any physical contact between us. They were meaningless texts. It was wrong, inappropriate and unprofessional. It should not have happened. I am sorrowful for my actions. I am deeply hurt about my actions and the embarrassment they have caused the organization."

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.

Governor Perdue has since announced a four step plan to reform the Patrol:

1) Ethics training for all Troopers who must then sign a zero tolerance code of conduct.

2) Supervisors must undergo ethics and management training.

3) There will be zero tolerance for anyone who violates their oath

4) Colonel Randy Glover and Secretary of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben F. Young will submit to Perdue a restructuring plan for the Patrol. Perdue says leadership is heavily based in Raleigh and she wants more people in the field.

Perdue gave Glover 60 days to come up with the restructuring plan. She said she wants the patrol restored "to a paramilitary organization that is run with discipline and rigorous activity and rigorous efforts."

She said she has asked Young and Glover to visit every Highway Patrol district in the state in the next two weeks.

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