RALEIGH, N.C. — A Superior Court judge has upheld the the firing of a state trooper who gave a credit union teller a doctored picture of a naked boy.
Ronald Gene Ezzell Jr. was at the drive-through of the State Employees Credit Union on Vernon Avenue in Kinston on Oct. 28, 2008, when he placed a laminated picture of a young naked boy with an enlarged penis superimposed on his body, along with identification and a check to be cashed, in the canister and sent it to a female teller.
The trooper was in uniform in a marked patrol car at the time.
Ezzell later said that he meant the photo as a joke, saying he told the teller that the picture was of him at his grandmother’s house as a child.
The patrol dismissed Ezzell, a helicopter pilot, in February 2009 on the grounds that he engaged conduct unbecoming of a state employee. The former trooper appealed that decision in court after both an administrative law judge and the State Personnel Commission upheld his firing.
In a ruling signed last month, Superior Court Judge Carl R. Fox ruled that "there was no error of law" in the personnel commission decision that Ezzell's dismissal was justified. The former trooper could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.