Former Tryon fire chief case continued

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

TRYON — A federal court trial originally scheduled Monday for former Tryon Fire Chief Joey Davis, who was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program fraud last year, has been continued until June 25.

Davis requested the trial be continued after his codefendant, former Tryon Commissioner Roy Miller, pleaded guilty to charges of federal program fraud associated with the case on April 20. 

Joey Davis

Miller was originally charged with conspiracy to commit federal program fraud, three counts of federal program fraud, extortion and witness tampering. Davis was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit federal program fraud.

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A sentencing hearing for Miller has not yet been set.

Federal officials charged Miller and Davis last April, after the Tryon officials discovered Davis, who served as town manager and fire chief at the time, used town credit cards to pay some of Miller’s personal bills. The town fired Davis last January, while Miller resigned as commissioner last June.

Davis’ motion to continue, entered on April 26, stated that the defendant (Davis) has been and continues to be a cooperating witness for the government.

“This case has been continued multiple times for the codefendant (Miller) and for the government due to various issues related to the codefendant,” stated the motion. “Within the last week, the codefendant entered a plea to the charge or charges in this case. Due to the not knowing whether the codefendant intended to go to trial, defense counsel and the government had and have not fully resolved issues related to a plea in Mr. Davis’ case.”

United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell granted the motion for continuance on May 2.

“The court finds that the case should be continued,” stated the order. “If the requested continuance were not granted, the court finds that counsel would be denied the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.

“Additionally, without the requested continuance, counsel would not have the ability to engage in meaningful plea negotiations, which would result in a miscarriage of justice.”

Davis’ case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, June 25, in the federal court building, located at 100 Otis St., Asheville.