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November 24, 2009
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N.C. trooper fired at the drop of a hat, literally

By Michael Biesecker
News Observer

RALEIGH, N.C. — If you're a state trooper, losing your hat can get you in trouble. Lying about how you lost your hat, however, can get you fired.

Thomas C. Wetherington, 22, says he was treated unfairly when the N.C. Highway Patrol dismissed him in August over a lost hat, especially considering that other troopers have kept their jobs despite having sexual liaisons on duty.

"Look, we've got guys having sex in patrol cars just about every day," said Wetherington, a trooper since 2007. "Why did I get dismissed when other guys get slaps on the wrist?" Capt. Everett Clendenin, the patrol's spokesman, declined to comment on the case Wednesday, citing pending legal action from the fired trooper. In general, he said, a trooper who loses his hat might face disciplinary action, but would not be fired for that alone.

Read full story: Trooper fired at the drop of a hat

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