Misuse of Tryon town funds described in federal indictments

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Details of misuse of Tryon town credit cards by Joey Davis and Leroy Miller were released in indictments today in federal court.

The indictments state that Joey Davis was chief of Tryon Fire Department when he was also given the position of interim town manager in January  2012.

Davis served in that position until August 2016. During that time, Davis had control of the town’s credit cards to pay for legitimate expenditures budgeted by the town, but not for personal bills or bills of council members, according to the indictment.

Davis received a $5,000 salary increase each year in that position, according to court documents. The Grand Jury says that in April 2012, council member Leroy Miller started soliciting money from Davis.

Documents state that Davis and Miller reached an agreement for him to pay some bills in exchange for Davis to receive a higher salary and other benefits. Those solicitations for money were allegedly made by text and email.

Until April 2016, Davis was using his personal funds to help Miller, state the documents. Starting April 1st, Davis used town credit cards to pay for Miller’s Duke Energy bill four times, also paying Miller’s Nationwide insurance bill twice, and his Charter Communications bill three times, according to the documents. The amount alleged in the indictments totals more than $2,000 of town funds.

Documents show that Davis had all of his conversations with Miller on his phone, including one where they discussed the FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations asking to speak with Davis. Miller told Davis that he needed to wipe his phone clean and that his phone was burnt up, according to the indictments.

Davis and Miller are each indicted on charges of conspiracy, by giving Miller money in exchange for retaining a job of interim and town manager.

Miller was also indicted on charges of Federal Program Fraud, Extortion, and Witness Tampering.

Davis was fired from his position as fire chief in January. Miller presented his resignation letter at the March meeting, stating that he would step down in July.

Davis and Miller had a court hearing on April 12. Miller received a $25,000 bond for his charges.

Miller was previously convicted of food stamp fraud after pleading guilty to charges in 2013.

To read the indictments, click here: Grand Jury Indictments

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