Benevolent Association calls for trooper investigation


Major Everett Clendenin stepped down after thousands of text messages surfaced that he'd sent to a subordinate, suggesting an inappropriate relationship.

Clendenin has denied any physical contact between himself and the woman - calling the text messages "poor judgment."

Clendenin was the public face of the Highway Patrol for about nine years - serving as the department's spokesperson.

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

Click here to read all the text messages

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.

Now, the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association is weighing in on the controversy. It wants the Governor to launch an investigation. John Midgette, Executive Director of the PBA said in a news release that Clendenin was an "embarrassment."

"PBA hopes that Governor Perdue will act by initiating a complete comprehensive investigation, take action against Clendenin and reform the Highway Patrol into a modern, effective state police agency with new policies and procedures to appropriately govern. Governor Perdue’s work is cut out for her," said Midgette.

Midgette went further - claiming Clendenin's role in the investigation of other troopers harmed them. He zeroed in on the 2008 investigation of Sgt. Charles Jones who was fired from the Patrol after being caught on video kicking his K-9 partner.

And, Midgette criticized the report of the Kroll consulting firm that made headlines in 2008 when it found many Highway Patrol officers perceived sex on duty was an expected fringe benefit. Despite that, the report called the department "well-managed." The PBA has said it did not adequately examine the department's handling of disciplinary cases.

"PBA has no choice but to call for a complete investigation of Clendenin’s behavior and other misconduct against Troopers," said Midgette. "The Easley administration wasted thousands of dollars in the so-called Kroll investigation, which was incomplete, inappropriately focused and failed to even consider many of the long term pressing problems within the Patrol. The Kroll inquiry was nothing but a whitewash attempt to protect Patrol management."

Midgette characterized Clendenin as a "destructive force within the Highway Patrol."

“Is Mr. Clendenin going to be charged for misuse of state property for his personal use of Patrol equipment? Will he be required to reimburse the taxpayers for his time while playing his titillating little games?” Midgette asked.

On Friday night, Clendenin released a statement to ABC11 Eyewitness News that said, "Midgette's release is ridiculous and inaccurate as are most of his comments about the Highway Patrol. Midgette is known for offering statements on topics he knows nothing about."

Meanwhile, Governor Perdue's spokesperson said this week she is working on a plan for changes in the department with Highway Patrol Colonel Randy Glover and to expect some action early next week.

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