Tryon fire chief terminated; investigation ongoing

Published 4:18 pm Monday, January 30, 2017

TRYON – Tryon Fire Chief Joey Davis was fired on Friday, Jan. 27 after being with the town a decade. Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said an investigation is ongoing and that Davis was terminated for “paying some of commissioner (Roy) Miller’s bills with a town credit card.”

According to Peoples, Davis was terminated by town manager Zach Ollis on Friday. The manager is charged with terminating most employees. A vote by town council is needed to terminate the town manager, the clerk or the attorney.

Ollis did not return a call or text to the Bulletin by press time.

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Davis has been with the Town of Tryon for the past 10 years. He was hired as the fire chief in 2007 and in 2013 was hired as the town manager and continued as fire chief, as well as the town’s code enforcer. Davis also served as the interim town manager as well as fire chief twice. From January 2009 to January 2012, Davis was the interim town manager after the town fired former manager Justin Hembree. Davis served again as interim town manager in 2013 after the town fired former manager Caitlin Martin Cothran.

Tryon Town Council decided last February to split the town manager and fire chief positions with Davis choosing to stay on as fire chief. The town hired Ollis, who began as town manager in August 2016.

Peoples said the town has an interim fire chief, but did not name the person. “We have somebody to take over and continue to ensure we have fire service,” Peoples said Monday morning.

The Bulletin contacted Davis but he said he could not yet comment because the case is still under investigation.

The case is being investigated by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), according to Peoples.