4th police officer fired in Butner

Staff WriterJune 22, 2010 

A high-ranking supervisor with Butner Public Safety was fired Monday over the mishandling of an April traffic stop that involved an off-duty state Highway Patrol captain who was driving drunk on Interstate 85.

Maj. Anthony W. Moss, dismissed Monday for personal conduct violations, is the fourth law officer fired over the incident. Moss was called at home by a police dispatcher early on the morning of April3 and told that a Butner officer had pulled Highway Patrol Capt. James Williams Jr. over because he was "extremely drunk." The call was recorded.

Rather than arrest Williams, the officers under Moss' supervision took the intoxicated trooper to a nearby hotel and had his Ford Mustang convertible towed.

Williams was fired last month along with the two Butner officers who let him go, Capt. Walter B. Williams and Lt. Daniel C. Parrott.

"The officers involved in this incident failed to enforce the law and abide by their oaths of office, and we cannot tolerate that," Chief Wayne Hobgood of Butner Public Safety said, according to a media release issued Monday.

Moss, who was second in the chain of command, had been an officer at the state-run Butner police agency since 1993. He was placed on paid leave for the past month while his role in the decision to let the drunk trooper go was investigated. Moss' annual salary was $66,125.

Hobgood, who has maintained that he knew nothing about the officers' actions until he was called by a reporter a week after the incident, said he has made clear to his remaining staff that favoritism such as that shown to Williams will not be tolerated.

"Our officers are held to high standards, and we expect no less," Hobgood said. "I have personally met with each and every member of this department since the incident occurred and have made clear my expectations and the repercussions for not meeting them."

michael.biesecker@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4698

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