Harnett trooper re-assigned in midst of investigation

Scandal probe continues


The North Carolina Highway Patrol is not saying whether the reassignment of a first sergeant at its Harnett County office is related to an evolving scandal that has embroiled troopers in the Troop B, District 8 department.

Two troopers have been accused of adding charges to traffic citations in a state probe into possible misconduct.

North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesperson Michael Baker confirmed First Sgt. Tracy Coleman has been reassigned from Troop B, District 8 which includes Harnett County to the Troop B Headquarters office in Cumberland County. Coleman is currently on administrative duty.

Baker said the reason for Coleman’s transfer was not available Monday. He would not comment further as to whether the transfer is related to the ticket irregularities investigation.

Nine-year Highway Patrol veteran Trooper Jason Benson separated from the department during the probe and Trooper Chris Carter was placed on administrative duty. Coleman has not been listed as being involved in the case.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, at the request of the Highway Patrol and the Harnett County District Attorney’s Office, is investigating whether Benson and Carter made up violations to pad traffic tickets, adding charges unknown to the drivers charged. Some of the drivers have faced bench warrants for failing to appear in court on the unknown charges.

Harnett County District Attorney Vernon Stewart said he is awaiting a report from the SBI which he expects in the near future. Stewart originally asked for the investigation because it was determined the pair had issued an excessive number of traffic violations. There has be no explanation as to the motive for the ticket irregularities.

The North Carolina SBI has not released information about when its investigation will be completed.

Spokesperson Anjanette Grube said the investigation is not complete at the current time. She confirmed when the investigation is complete, the report will be sent to Stewart’s office.


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