Local/State

NC Court of Appeals won't give trooper job back

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

(Image courtesy Flickr creative commons)

The North Carolina Court of Appeals declined Tuesday to reinstate a North Carolina Highway Patrol officer fired for allegedly having sex on the job.

Trooper Monty Steven Poarch was dismissed in 2003 for having extramarital sex with a woman in his car and at a district station.

Poarch has not denied having a relationship with the woman, but in his appeals, he has argued the sex did not occur while he was on duty, and other troopers who did the same or worse remained on the force. Poarch's case has worked its way through the courts with various ruling for and against him.

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Last year, a Wake Superior Court judge ruled that the Highway Patrol did not have to reinstate Poarch, but said he was owed two months of back pay.

Poarch appealed the decision.  In its ruling Tuesday, the Court of Appeals said the trooper's behavior falls within one of the categories of unacceptable personal conduct provided by the Highway Patrol's Administrative Code.

It found that Poarch was in uniform when the sex occurred, and because the sex could have been witnessed by a member of the public "they would assume that petitioner was on duty to the detriment of the Patrol's reputation."

Poarch's case could go all the way to the NC Supreme Court.

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