UPDATE: Judge Reviewing Trooper Text Rules

A North Carolina judge is considering if personal text messages a former high-ranking Highway Patrol officer recieved from his assistant are public records that must be released.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner said he would read through documents before issuing an order.

Media organizations are suing the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

The agency contends disclosure laws don't require it to turn over text messages received on a state-issued BlackBerry that involve personal discussions.

An attorney representing media outlets said public employees should have no expectation of privacy for messages sent during work hours to a state-issued device.

Previous story:

The North Carolina Highway Patrol wants troopers to show they're not spending too much time talking and texting on personal phones while on the job.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday the patrol's leaders are working on a policy requiring troopers to provide supervisors with copies of their mobile phone bills.

Most troopers aren't provided with state-owned phones, but often carry personal phones while on duty.

The policy is part of ethics reforms coming after a series of embarrassing episodes involving troopers' misconduct.

In one case, a high-ranking trooper was forced to resign over thousands of text messages sent to his secretary, some of which included sexual banter.

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  • by Dixiegirl929 on Jul 25, 2010 at 06:39 AM
    Also, if anyone here says they have never had a personal/private conversation during work hours, read or sent an email/text or made or took a phone call of same nature. YOU ARE A LIAR. Go throw rocks at your own glass house.
  • by Dixiegirl929 on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM
    I don't think anyone else would want their personal phone records being reviewed and/or made public. This is an invasion of privacy. Unless there is probable cause of dereliction of duty then I don't see the need for this. More government control is what its coming to.
  • by Betty Location: nc on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:19 PM
    It is always private when using a private phone unless there is a subpoena involved. Maybe Bev Perdue should put her cell phone out for public review also just to make that injustice politically fair. I don't have to commandeer my employee's personal phone to know whether they excessively use it. I pay attention and reprimand accordingly. I certainly don't waste my time micromanaging all the staff to justify getting rid of one bad apple. Don't allow personal cell phones while on duty if you don't have the time to properly supervise, but respect their right to privacy.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 21, 2010 at 06:21 AM
    It's not private when your talking/texting away while ON DUTY. They are supposed to protect and serve the people. Kinda hard to do that when molesting your phone with your thumbs and ear all shift.
  • by ENC LEO Location: ENC on Jul 20, 2010 at 05:40 PM
    RJ from Washington.....ur being stupid!!! It is not illegal for law enforcment or anyone else to talk while driving much else sitting still and speaking with someone....why would you want to provoke something by approaching them!!! That can lead to criminal charges for you! As for Puff from Chocowinity I like your idea of cameras in the bathrooms!!! Can we get a live feed to that!!! ;)
  • by steph Location: lenoir co. on Jul 20, 2010 at 05:25 PM
    personal is personal, if he is doing his job wtf does it matter. there are people everyday that go to work and have a personal life that nobody knows about. because you are in law inforcment why should that be any differant? if he is doing his JOB who cares what he does when he is off duty or for that factwhen he is not handling buisness. i do agree he should not be texting while driving, however can you prove he was driving? even if you can, suspend him or find him, that's all you would do to a civilian, don't wreak his career
  • by Anonymous on Jul 20, 2010 at 03:44 PM
    Troopers are boring and so are the stories about them. Booorrrrrrringggggggg. Flush the pooper troopers.
  • by JustWondering Location: Eastern NC on Jul 20, 2010 at 09:02 AM
    I agree with the fact that personal cell phones record should not be public record. That being said this Trooper was fired as a result of texting his assistant. I feel the public has a right to know what was said from her considering we saw all of his. What is it that she is hiding? What is it that she doesn't want her husband to find out? What is it she doesn't want others at the Patrol to find out? Why is it she is still employed by the state when the Trooper was fired? In my opinion she is just as guilty as misconduct as the Trooper in this case. Bev Perdue needs to address EVERYONE working with the Highway Patrol and not just the Troopers. Look at the totality of circumstances before judging.
  • by Craig Location: G-Vegas on Jul 20, 2010 at 08:56 AM
    Doesn't this already happen to private citizens. If your in a wreck, how can the HP prove that you were texting and driving? You do not have a right to drive on a highway. You do not have any rights when it comes to State owned property. Heck, they even tell you that you have to wear a seatbelt while sitting in the car you paid for on state property. Eventhough it doesn't cause any problems with other drivers or infringe on their rights. We are going socialist. Get used to it.
  • by Data Man on Jul 20, 2010 at 07:47 AM
    If the state is not paying the bill; then they have no right to look at it unless this man is charged with a murder or something.

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