State Upholds Firing Of Kinston-Based Trooper

The firing of a Kinston-based state trooper has been upheld by the State Personnel Commission.

Ronald Ezzell, Jr was let go for showing an obscene image to a teller at the State Employees Credit Union last October.

Ezzell was a heicopter pilot with 19 years with the Highway Patrol.

Earlier this month an administrative law judge upheld the decision to fire Ezell as well.


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A judge has upheld the firing of a Highway Patrol trooper from Eastern Carolina.

Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison, Jr. said the state's decision to fire former Kinston-based trooper Ronald Ezzell, Jr. "should be left undisturbed."

"While I may have decided to impose a lesser sanction based upon the maxim, 'Justice tempered with mercy,' for a veteran trooper, I am not convinced that these officials acted erroneously," Morrison wrote in his decision.

Ezzell admitted that showing an obscene picture to a bank teller from the drive-through lane was a joke in bad taste, but he didn't think he should lose his job over it. Ezzell was in a marked highway patrol car at the time. Brittany Dunn, the woman working at the branch of the State Employees Credit Union branch in Kinston testified against Ezzell at his appeal hearing last month.

Ezzell lost his job in March. He worked for the Highway Patrol for 19 years.

The North Carolina Personnel Commission will now make the final decision about Ezzell's job.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Sep 2, 2009 at 05:14 AM
    One would think an officer with so many years of experience would know what is offensive and what isn't. What rating was the picture? Some can consider a PG-rated picture offensive. I'm sure the motivation was political in nature. Sure the officer made a mistake. But nobody's perfect. A suspension should have been enough.
  • by Patriot Location: Washington on Aug 30, 2009 at 10:03 AM
    Based on these facts, I would say that this officer really acted stupidly!
  • by Saddened in NC Location: Greenville on Aug 29, 2009 at 07:23 PM
    It is sad to see to see the Highway Patrol's reputation in shreds. Hope the HP's fearless "leaders" are proud of where their moronic decisions have led the organization. This situation could have been handled internally with fairness and diginity. I guess those days and the HP that we could be proud of are all in the past. It's a shame.
  • by kathy Location: beaufo on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:24 PM
    shame on the person called Fred Morrison Jdg for sying you should fire a chopper pilot for a little humor, If u feel diiplinary action was needed what about a letter in the file then if there is a reoccurance dismiss him we the tax payers have alot of money in training him for toughstuff. It looks real simular to a depuity dismissed in Hyde Co. for tazzing two drug dealers when he was serving paper and they didnt want to be arrested ,, Why do they always take the sideof the accuser..?
  • by what about on Aug 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM
    The 1st Sgt who was swingers with another highway patrolman and his wife. Nothing happened to the Sgt but the other trooper got fired when he decided he didn't want to wife swap anymore. Politics?
  • by DC Location: Kinston on Aug 29, 2009 at 09:48 AM
    Could the state of NC do an internal investigation on all of the jokes and racist cartoons sent from state computers in the last 15 years? How about state employees that open porno email sent from home to a state owned computer. You can take this as far as you want but this trooper is not the only one doing such things on state time.
  • by HUSBAND Location: KINSTON/LENOIR CO on Aug 29, 2009 at 08:05 AM
    to (its me thats) true and its funny when its a picture or someone else suppose he take a picture of himself and send it to other wifes or better yet send a picture of you to other men would that be a joke to you??? i think not. wouldn't be funny then. take my tax dollars and hire someone else
  • by MADDOG Location: GREENVILLE on Aug 29, 2009 at 08:04 AM
    to linda in kiston,,everyone haves a right to say what they want. so who are you to tell them to shut up. He was wrong so let him pay.
  • by linda Location: kinston on Aug 29, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    everyone needs to know that the teller did not file a complaint against the trooper. the complaint came from inside the highway patrol. quit placing blame with the teller and the credit union for that matter. this nonsense has gone on to long. keep your mouths shut because you don't know what you are talking about.
  • by MADDOG Location: GREENVILLE on Aug 29, 2009 at 05:35 AM
    People have lost their jobs and went to jail for a lot less. You got fired,,stop crying like a little girl and go get another job. Like picking up trash.
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