Commissioner upholds Tenn. trooper's dismissal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state has upheld the dismissal of a Highway Patrol officer who ran unauthorized background checks on almost 200 people.

State Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell said Thursday that he upheld Lt. Ronnie Shirley's Sept. 3 firing.

An investigation found that Shirley ran unauthorized background checks on 182 people, including two journalists and a country music figure.

Shirley acknowledged violating state policy for using a criminal justice database. But he claimed other officers had done the same and faced lesser punishment.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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