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NC court says trooper should not be fired over hat

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An appeals court says a North Carolina state trooper should not have been fired when the Highway Patrol determined he violated its truthfulness policy about his wide-brimmed hat.

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower court finding that the 2009 dismissal of Trooper Thomas Wetherington did not match the level of his offense.

Wetherington testified he noticed his hat was missing during a Craven County traffic stop. Court documents show he told his immediate supervisor the hat blew off of his head and was probably crushed. The hat was recovered a few weeks later in good condition. Wetherington was confronted about his story, ultimately leading to his dismissal.

The state must decide whether to ask the state Supreme Court to review the case.

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