Perdue hoping to pick new HP commander soon

RALEIGH The governor met with Crime Control Secretary Reuben Young on Thursday and said they hope to have a new colonel in place before the end of the month. But the advisory panel Perdue appointed to help assist in the process hasn't finished its job.

Shortly after former Highway Patrol Colonel Randy Glover stepped down in July, Governor Perdue put together the panel to help find his replacement.

In early September, the panel issued an unfinished report with two questions unanswered -- do recent firings and resignations at the patrol indicate a bigger, cultural problem at the agency and should the next colonel come from outside the patrol or from within the ranks.

The panel then said it needed more time and more information, specifically detailed accounts of disciplinary action at the patrol dating back years. So, Young provided the information and Perdue promised them the time they needed.

On Thursday, Perdue said she's expecting that final report soon.

"I'm led to believe the panel is very near the final product of its work," she said.

However, sources close to the panel tell ABC11 Eyewitness News that the information requested in early September has only just been compiled.

Until recently, at least one panel member didn't even know it was available. In addition, there are not any meetings scheduled for the panel to discuss the issue.

Still, Perdue says she plans to move forward and have a new colonel in place by the end of the month.

"We don't want to have anyone at odds on this," Perdue said. "We want a good process, we want the panel to have input, but we also need to go forward. We've been at this since the first of September, 60 days later the patrol needs a commander and I hope that our team has had a chance to make that happen."

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