Lab Technician charged with two counts of felony bribery

Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has charged Adrian Travarius Davis, age 37, with two charges of bribery that are considered felony ethics violations.

According to law enforcement, Davis, who was a lab technician with Shelby County Community Corrections, has been charged with two counts of the bribery of a public official. Those charges, which are considered felonies, relate to two separate incidents that are said to have occurred in August and October of last year.

Each of those incidents allegedly involved Davis soliciting and accepting cash payments to provide clean urine samples and the supposed guarantee of clean test results to participants in Shelby County Community Correction’s deferred prosecution program.

That program, which is independent of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Shelby County Jail, is carried out under the purview of the court.

Deferred prosecution programs are designed to provide leniency and help to offenders who are seen by judges as being better served by such programs. Individuals commonly find themselves in such programs through a request of leniency from a judge, or through having expressed the desire to seek sobriety prior to sentencing.

Once enrolled, an individual will go through a number of classes and drug education courses that are distributed across a prescribed number of months. Throughout this entire process, participants are required to submit to routine and mandatory drug screens to ensure compliance with the program.

“At any time, if they fail to do their part of the bargain—such as failing their drug screen as a result of their continuing to use drugs while they are in the deferred program, they basically forfeit the deferred prosecution and get sentenced to jail,” SCSO Chief Deputy Clay Hammac said. “If they stay with the program, take the classes and continue to pass drug screens with clean samples, then they complete the deferred program and the arrest, while not expunged, will not be followed with punishment.”

Law enforcement officials say that it was as part of these mandatory drug screens that Davis solicited bribes from participants in the program.

“On Oct. 20 of 2023 the director of Shelby County Community Corrections notified the Sheriff’s Office that he had been made aware that he had a civilian employee that was soliciting bribes from drug court participants for clean urine samples,” Hammoc said.

Investigators with the SCSO then took that report and began a full investigation beginning with an interview of the director who brought forth the initial information and then with Davis himself.

“We had enough information at that time to seize his cellular phone, which is what we were told the communications were being conducted on,” Hammoc said.

Following the receipt of a search warrant and a court order, investigators conducted a forensic examination of Davis’ phone and claim to have found overwhelming evidence that supports the crimes took place.

“Even though (Davis) is not an elected person and is not considered to be in public office, he (was) acting as an agent of the court under the direction of the court—which falls under this category. He was not receiving bribes, but he was soliciting bribes from those participating in the program.”

Based on the evidence that was presented and further discovered over the course of the investigation, which included a program participant coming forward, warrants were obtained for Davis’ arrest and he subsequently turned himself over to authorities. Davis was booked by the SCSO on Friday, March 22.

Davis has since been released from jail after posting a $30,000 bond.

“We’re grateful for the whistleblower who came forward in this case,” Hammoc said. “We’re grateful for the courage of individuals reporting unethical and unlawful behavior, which ultimately resulted in charges being filed against this individual.”

At this time, the investigation is still ongoing and the possibility of additional charges stemming from bribes that may have happened prior to these incidents, should they be found to have occurred, have not been ruled out.

“We are deeply grateful for the partnership that we have with the Shelby County court system and Shelby County Community Corrections. This is another example of professionals coming together and working together with the same purpose and the same motivation, which is to provide service with integrity to our community.”