Under the Dome

GOP senator backs troopers accused of misconduct

Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Republican from Wilmington, has issued a statement in support of two state troopers accused of falsely arresting a Raleigh mother for drunken driving and then orchestrating an unjustified traffic stop of her husband.

The N.C. Highway Patrol is conducting an internal affairs investigation, but Goolsby, a lawyer, said he has already seen enough to make up his mind that the troopers are innocent of the allegations against them.

Like most of the public, I was shocked at the allegations recently made against two local N.C. State Troopers regarding the DWI arrest of Gina Tessener. I was sent a copy of the letter to the Governor written by Tessener's lawyer-husband. In the letter, the husband made numerous allegations of abuse and illegal conduct against our troopers.

I read the letter with interest and concern. As an attorney who practices in our local courts, I have known these troopers for the entire time they have enforced the law in southeastern North Carolina. I have never received any complaints about them. My personal experience was that they were professional, honest and forthright.

When I learned that there was a video tape from the detention center, I watched it with interest. I was shocked and angered when it was apparent that the video did not represent several of the allegations made in the letter.

I have personally spoken with the Governor, Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety and the Commander of the Highway Patrol expressing my frustration over what I perceive to be false allegations. Further, because both of these troopers were immediately placed on administrative leave, our county will be short of law enforcement officers to protect the public from drunk drivers during 4th of July weekend.

It is time that someone spoke up and defended our troopers. I am doing so now.


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You might should've waited

You might should've waited for all the facts before jumping on the band wagon with these troopers Mr.  Goolsby.   Like these profanity laced texts that have now been made public.  How professional is that?  And you think it was mere coincidence the 2nd trooper pulled the husband after texting with the 1st trooper?  My instincts tell me you know these guys personally (you are from that area) and that has clouded your judgement in this matter.

Reading with interest

Oh PULEASE, armywifenc.   I read carefully. Goolsby's message was clear.   I think the text messages just released by the officers is pretty clear, too.   NICE. 

Sen Goolsby

I believe that the two officers should get the same presumption of "GUILT"  that they gave to the citizen... Problem with our system is that one, or should I say two, bad eggs can spoil the whole bunch! I wish that those in power would not be afraid to admit when they have made a mistake and instead of covering it up, just FIRE THE JERKS!!!!

Sen Goolsby needs to remember that he is coming up for re-election soon and it might be to his best interest not to align himself with these ego-maniacs!!

Slow Down and Pay Attention doesn't need to compare her husband to these bad eggs. My son is a Raleigh Police Officer and I understand how dangerous it is for good cops to have bad cops on the force....They can get good cops killed!!!

If wonder....

I am not surprised the Goolsby thinks this was fine.  It had no impact on him or his family.

I wonder if he would be supportive if it were his wife who was subjected to false arrest?  

It is maddening to watch this video and see this woman who has not committed any crime being forced to waste her time sitting in a police station with handcuffs.


This officer should be fired.

Slow down and read carefully

    "I was shocked and angered when it was apparent that the video did not    represent several of the allegations made in the letter."

Read carefully IMPRESSIVE. He does not state that he knows what happened in the car. He states that what is CLAIMED to have happened in the jail is not represented on the tape. If those claims are in question, then it stands to reason that ALL of the attorney's and his wife's claims would come into question. I want the truth to come out and the officer to be punished if they indeed did wrong, but that is very much in question now. Thank you, Senator Goolsby for at least checking. Our troopers put their lives on the line every single day, yet apparently those in the ivory tower in Raleigh have forgotten that they were once on the road. There hasn't been a Colonel in years who has backed his people with a presumption of innocence. Obviously, the public relations person on the Patrol isn't even remotely capable of handling any of these situations. NO ONE is lookng out for the hundreds who do their jobs bravely and honorably! You have a news organization that has made it their mission to go after the Patrol, and NOT ONE SOUL in Raleigh even attempts to set the record straight by telling the whole story about the Highway Patrol and the awesome job they do at great sacrifice to themselves and their families. At least get out there and tell people about the law and policies. At least tell the public that if a person refuses field sobriety tests they have to be arrested. That attorney knows that, but he makes the claim of impropriety anyway? It is on a small percentage of bad eggs that the focus remains, and because this is handled so badly in the PR area, there is now an atmosphere where people are making allegations (many of them false) left and right. Oh, and thanks, Trooper's Associaton, for helping to get BEV elected. Hope you learned your lesson. She needed to keep her nose out of it just like you need to keep your noses out of the election process!


What's the Law Read on DWI?

If Goolsby is so insensitive toward Troopers' falsely arresting folks, ie, arresting without probable cause (something not in the video, but apparently at the stop itself), perhaps he should refresh himself with the law before he continues to represent the pulbic's interests, or at least research Title 20 before he allows someone to quote him.

Otherwise, the folks in Wilmington may wish to reconsider what Goolsby actually represents.

At least Goolsby did not

At least Goolsby did not hang them out to dry like our excuse for a Governor.  The Highway Patrol is incapable of investigating anything and their internal affairs is notorious for deciding on an outcome and finding "facts" to support it. With the Governor already weighing in the troopers have no chance.


The Highway Patrol have conducted traffic stops like this for years.  And it does not suprise me that the GOP Senator supports this type of behvaior.  The outcome will be the Trooper will apologize and the couple will get more stress added to the them!

Another politician

Just another politician sucking up to authority ........

Maybe he doesn't want to get "pulled over" in Wilmington?


I'm impressed by Goolsby's ability to determine whether or not the Tessener allegations were true just by watching the video of a very limited portion of the interactions that spurred the complaint.  Goolsby knows from watching a video -- a video that the officer was aware existed -- what took place in the officer's car and whether or not the officer was abusive in his off camera statements and off camera treatment of Mrs. "Blew zeroes twice" Tessener.  No investigation is necessary for Goolsby.  

Ok, scratch that.  What really impresses me is that Goolsby is so unselfconscious about making such an obviously ill-informed statement.  As an attorney, he knows, or certainly should know how limited that video is as evidence of events before and after the small scenes it captured.   Goolsby is either a very poor attorney or an unashamed liar in his assertion that he knows what is or isn't true. 

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