RALEIGH — A former head of North Carolina State Capitol Police has been cleared after a judge ruled that he should not have been fired from his job.
Tony Asion said he feels he can now move on with his life after being fired for setting up a system of off-duty work for officers by allowing them to work security at a club in downtown Raleigh.
"I thought I was doing something better for the state and the department," Asion said. "Bottom line was I got fired for doing what I was asked to do - to use my experience to improve the department."
Administrative Law Judge Donald Overby ruled that Asion was unfairly fired after he helped officers work outside jobs to improve morale among the police force. He said the Capitol Police Force is the lowest-paid state agency and has dealt with personnel cuts and outdated equipment.
He set up a nonprofit to route all payments through and tacked on fees for club owners to use patrol cars. State officials said Asion never got approval for the program and was inappropriately using money from the fees for office parties and gifts instead of vehicle maintenance and gas.
Asion said he never made money from the employment program. He said he was never given the chance to explain his decisions before being fired, and that the termination has followed him to every other job he's tried to get.
Asion now works in private security but said he would like to return to the State Capitol Police.
The Department of Public Safety has appealed the ruling.