Statesville City Councilman Roy West
Misdemeanor charge against city councilman dismissed
BY HALEY JONES
A special prosecutor dismissed the assault charge against Statesville City Councilman Roy West on Monday.
A Caldwell County prosecutor, who was asked to handle the case, determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute West for assault in connection with a June 5 altercation with Councilman Jarrod Phifer.
West, who learned the case would be dismissed Monday, declined to comment. Phifer could not be reached for comment.
The incident occurred during a closed council meeting. Afterward Phifer claimed that he suffered a broken knee and other injuries during the altercation and filed private assault and communicating threats charges.
The case was moved to District Court after Phifer declined to participate in mediation in an effort to resolve the case.
An audio recording of the dispute obtained by svlfreenews.com captures the angry exchange between the councilmen. Read a transcript of the altercation or listen to the audio here: http://svlfreenews.com/news/audio-recording-captur...
The altercation was the culmination of a dispute between the two men that began when West questioned the wisdom of spending city tax dollars to pay for a proposed splash pad at the Bentley Community Center, which is located in South Statesville. Criminal activity in the area would keep residents from utilizing the facility, West said.
Phifer, who was in favor of the splash pad location and saw it as a positive development for the city’s south side, was not present at the meeting in which West made those comments.
Afterward Phifer rebuked West in a letter published by the local daily newspaper, calling him “an elderly, privileged, bitter, bigoted man who is comfortable with the status quo.”
The men exchanged words at the onset of the June 5 closed-door meeting. Phifer’s lawyer claimed that West assaulted him during the angry exchange that followed.
West was adamant that he never touched Phifer, claiming that he was restrained by others in the room.