Catawba Co. deputy fired after officials say he drove drunk, crashed patrol car

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — A Catawba County deputy has been fired after investigators said he drove drunk and crashed his patrol car.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol identified the deputy as 49-year-old Michael T. Watkins. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office said he wasn’t on-duty at the time of the wreck.

Highway patrol said the single-vehicle crash happened last Thursday around 2 a.m. on Radio Station Road near Long Drive. The Sheriff’s Office said it happened after Watkins picked up his vehicle from a maintenance appointment.

Watkins was charged with driving while impaired.

“This conduct has not and will not be tolerated in my administration. We have taken swift action in this matter. My office will continue to operate with the highest level of integrity and accountability to our citizens,” the sheriff said.

No other details have been released.

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