Friday, April 19, 2024

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Search warrant served on city of Graham for former fireman’s personnel files


A search warrant has been served on the city of Graham by the State Bureau of Investigation to obtain the personnel records for a former Graham fireman, Rob Patterson, Graham city manager Megan Garner confirmed this week for The Alamance News.

When first contacted by The Alamance News, Garner said she could neither confirm nor deny whether a search warrant had been served on the city. But, after conferring with the city’s attorneys, she told the newspaper Monday afternoon that a search warrant had been served, adding, “I cannot tell you the contents until it’s been returned to the clerk’s office.”

Under state law, search warrants aren’t considered official public records – subject to public review – until they are returned to the clerk of superior court’s office, Alamance County superior court officials confirmed Wednesday for The Alamance News.

Patterson’s personnel records are apparently being sought in connection with an ongoing civil court case. Courtney Wrenn of Burlington has filed a complaint for a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) against Patterson, after voluntarily dismissing her first complaint for a DVPO, for allegedly stalking her. Wrenn’s newest complaint includes a lengthy narrative in which she describes herself as having a yearlong extramarital affair with Patterson between the fall of 2021 and October 2022, according to the court files.

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Patterson, a 28-year employee of the city of Graham, was fired from his job with the fire department on May 17, which he contended at a separate “name-clearing hearing” last week had been in retaliation for whistleblower complaints he’d lodged against his superiors in the Graham fire department.

Patterson insisted during the hearing that he had been “falsely labeled as a stalker and a harasser by his employer,” and that those false claims ultimately formed the basis for his termination from the fire department. He said last week that an investigation had revealed that he had not been observed at Wrenn’s home, workplace, or her church; nor had he used any Graham fire department equipment to harass or stalk anyone.

Meanwhile, Patterson and Wrenn are scheduled to return to Alamance County civil court on August 7 for a hearing on the latest complaint for a DVPO that Wrenn has filed.

Previous coverage of the personnel case and litigation:

At name-clearing hearing, accusations made against Graham superiors:

Stalking case filed against Graham fireman:

Case dismissed:

Case re-filed:

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