State Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican and lawyer, said Wednesday his support for two state troopers accused of misconduct is not shaken by the release of text messages showing the law officers profanely expressed ridicule and contempt for a woman wrongfully arrested for drunken driving.
Over the weekend, Goolsby issued a statement giving his unequivocal support to Senior Trooper Edward S. Wyrick and Trooper Andrew M. Smith.
"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," Goolsby wrote in an e-mail to The N&O. "I have never received any complaints about them. My personal experience was that they were professional, honest and forthright. ... It is time that someone spoke up and defended our troopers. I am doing so now."
On Tuesday the patrol released text messages showing that the two troopers exchanged messages shortly after Gina Tessener twice blew a 0.00 on an an alcohol breath test, prompting a comment from her lawyer husband that Wyrick should be ashamed of himself.
"Hahahaha f--- her and f--- him," Smith texted to Wyrick after learning of the exchange.
Moments later, Smith would pull Tessener's husband as he followed Wyrick and his wife to the county jail. The newly released texts may contradict Wyrick's written report of Gina Tessener's arrest, in which he wrote: "I never made contact with Trp. Smith while enroute to the jail until after I verified he stopped her husband."
Goolsby said Wednesday he didn't see anything in the messages that would lead him to change his earlier statement.
"The texts confirm the consistent story given in the report provided by the trooper," Goolsby wrote in an e-mail. "I have seen no evidence that the husband was set up in any way. These troopers are professional and respected in our area. No allegations have ever been made that any foul language was spoken to the driver or her husband. The inconsistent statements have all come from the husband of the driver. Until and unless I see something to the contrary, I continue to stand behind our troopers."