Davis prepares for grievance hearing with city|Former fire chief adds Raleigh attorney to his local legal team

Published 6:44 pm Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contributing Editor

Jimmy Davis, the Washington fire chief terminated by the city in July, has added attorney Reagan Weaver to his legal team.
In a press release issued July 17, City Manager James C. Smith announced that Davis had been separated from employment with the city. Before his termination, Davis led the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department.
Brian Jones, an attorney with Mason &Jones, P.A., one of the law firms representing Davis, said Weaver, a member of the Capitol District Law Offices in Raleigh, has been added to Davis’ legal team to respond to the city’s actions against Davis.
“After reviewing the information available to us at this time and considering the circumstances of this case, we believe it was appropriate to help our client find an attorney with experience representing public employees who were wrongfully discharged, specifically those employees who were subjected to discriminatory and retaliatory practices by their employer,” Jones said in a press release. “We searched for an attorney who was experienced with employment cases and are pleased to have Weaver join Chief Davis’ legal team.”
Jones indicated that the city’s attorneys in Raleigh have requested potential dates when attorneys for the city and attorneys for Davis will be available for Davis’ grievance hearing. Details are being arranged, according to Jones.
“We are trying to set that date now,” Jones said in a brief telephone interview Friday.
Smith, during a brief telephone interview Friday, declined to comment about the grievance hearing. The city manager said state personnel law and the city’s personnel policy regarding current of former employees’ privacy rights prohibit him for discussing the matter.
Davis has filed a formal grievance, as required by the city’s personnel policy if he chooses to fight his termination. At the hearing, Davis will be allowed to confront and cross-examine witnesses who the city claims have evidence against him, Jones said.
In July, Davis and Jones said the public has the right to know the circumstances surrounding Davis’ termination.
Davis, during an interview in July, said allegations against him include, but are not limited to, the following:
• having city employees pick up lunch orders for him;
• having city employees run errands such as making deposits at banks for him;
• having city employees make appointments for things such as haircuts for him;
• taking and making personal phone calls on his city-owned cell phone;
• showing favoritism to some city employees;
• personal use of a city-owned copy machine;
• using city employees and equipment for personal business.
Davis said he’s been accused of confronting city employees, accusing a city employee in his department of having extra-marital affairs and making inappropriate comments at the fire station.
Previously, Jones said he and Davis believe the former fire chief is the target of an unfair investigation.
Davis denies any wrongdoing in regard to his job performance as a city employee. He said the allegations against him are unfounded.
Smith, during an interview in July, said the allegations against Davis are not criminal in nature and that Davis had not been the subject of a criminal investigation.