The commander of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Col. Randy Glover, has resigned.
A statement released by the office of Gov. Bev Perdue says she accepted Glover's resignation Friday about noon.
Glover, who Perdue named as the new commander in August, has been under fire over repeated cases of misconduct involving state troopers.
"I appreciate Col. Glover’s years of dedication to North Carolina and his leadership to the Highway Patrol, Perdue said in a written statement. "Next week I will announce the members of a Highway Patrol transition leadership team of outside advisers to work with the secretary as a new colonel is selected."
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Chrissy Pearson, Perdue's spokeswoman, said the governor met with Glover and Crime Control Secretary Reuben Young in New Bern this morning about 11 a.m. to discuss the patrol's future. During that meeting, Pearson said, Glover offered his resignation and the governor accepted it.
Perdue and Glover are both from New Bern and the two have a friendship going back many years. The governor got testy last week, as reporters pressed her in a news conference about whether she intervened in 1995 to help Glover's name be added to an already developed list of troopers receiving promotion. Perdue was a powerful state senator at the time, while Glover was a sergeant assigned to Carteret County.
The Highway Patrol's reputation as the state's most elite law enforcement agency has been tarnished in recent years by embarrassing reports of trooper misconduct, with many of the incidents involving male troopers and women. Recent problems include a major who resigned after sending sexually explicit text messages; a captain fired for drunken driving; a sergeant fired for abusing his canine partner; a master trooper who resigned after a charges of drunken driving and felony hit and run; and others dismissed or forced to resign for shooting a cat, lying in court and being investigated in the sexual assault of a motorist.
In the news conference last week, however, Glover blamed intense media scrutiny for public perception that the patrol is troubled.
"I'm taking care of business on a daily basis," said Glover, who has been a trooper for more than 30 years. "I go to the east and I talk to people. I go to the west and I talk to people. I don't hear a lot about this. It's when I'm in the Piedmont that I hear this. And I always ask, 'Where did you hear that?' And it always comes back to the media. We'll take care of the problems we have. It gets magnified through the media."
Next week Perdue will announce the formation of a new team to develop a plan for the patrol's future, Pearson said. That team will include experts in law enforcement from outside of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Last week, Perdue's office acknowledged she has spoken with Mike Robertson, a former trooper who is now the commissioner of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, about potentially moving to a position with oversight of the Highway Patrol. However, state law requires that the commander of the Highway Patrol come from within its ranks.
Perdue's statement from Friday said she will receive a detailed written report by Sept. 1 that will make recommendations on the patrol’s structure and policies, including the selection of a new commander, legislative recommendations for the next session necessary to enact further reform, and a strategy for rebuilding with a focus on "integrity, honor and the proud heritage" of the patrol.
"Again, I continue to believe that 99.9 percent of the members of the N.C. Highway Patrol serve the state with honor and integrity, and I thank them for that service," Perdue said.