RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Today the North Carolina State Highway Patrol released the results of an internal investigation of Wilmington-based Troopers Edward S. Wyrick Jr. and Andrew M. Smith. The investigation was conducted in response to a complaint and was completed after a thorough, fair and impartial examination of the facts in the case.
The investigation shows that all allegations against Trooper Wyrick were unsubstantiated and he is exonerated. The investigation confirmed that Trooper Wyrick was justified in making the traffic stop and had probable cause for a DWI arrest. No evidence exists that supports the allegations contained within the letter of complaint. Trooper Wyrick will return to full duty status immediately.
The investigation did reveal conduct by Trooper Smith that was unprofessional and in violation of Patrol policy. He is scheduled for a pre-suspension conference next week and will receive additional training on the Patrol Policy violations. At the conclusion of the imposed suspension, Trooper Smith will return to full duty status.
On Monday, June 27, the Highway Patrol received a letter of complaint from Mr. Hoyt Tessener, a Raleigh lawyer, alleging officer misconduct during a traffic stop of his wife that occurred on Tuesday, June 21. Mrs. Gina Tessener was stopped for a broken headlight and then refused to comply with Trooper Wyrick’s requests to conduct roadside tests for intoxication. Mr. Tessener, who followed Trooper Wyrick as he transported Mrs. Tessener to the magistrate’s office, was subsequently pulled over by Trooper Smith for speeding.
Upon receiving Mr. Tessener’s letter, Commander of the Highway Patrol Colonel Michael Gilchrist directed an immediate Internal Affairs investigation into the allegations. Troopers Edward S. Wyrick and Andrew M. Smith were placed on administrative duty pending the investigation’s outcome.
“During the course of the investigation, a number of discrepancies were discovered between what was alleged to have occurred and what we know occurred through witness accounts and other information. The information and evidence obtained during the investigation does not support Mr. Tessener’s allegations. However, the investigation did show that Trooper Smith violated Patrol policy, and he will be disciplined accordingly,” said Col. Gilchrist.