Credit card statements detail thousands spent on travel by Southaven mayor

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis

(WMC-TV) - Credit card statements obtained by Action News 5 show exactly what Southaven Mayor Greg Davis was spending money on to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts.

Selling the city of Southaven is a full time job for Davis. Earlier this week, he told Action News 5 he is confident detailed receipts of his business expenses will show he's been spending the city's money on city business.

In the meantime, credit card statements from July of 2009 through March of this year show Southaven's mayor has been doing a lot of wining and dining on the city dime.

Click here to download the statements. (PDF, approx 3MB)

"There's a lot of transactions that take place over a dinner table or a lunch table," Davis said earlier this week.

A dinner table where, more often than not, an expensive steak is served. At a statewide conference in 2009, the check at the Ruth's Chris Steak House in Biloxi was more than $7,500. In November, the mayor charged $785 at Donovan's Steak House in Salt Lake City.

In June of last year, it was back to the Biloxi Ruth's Chris, to the tune of more than $7,200.

Local restaurants have been frequented as well. At the Mesquite Chop House in Southaven, Davis logged more than $3,800 in credit card expenses last year.

"Obviously we want to keep our money here at home in Southaven, so we'll use a restaurant as much as we can," Davis said.

According to Davis, dinner is spent informing potential businesses on what Southaven has to offer.

"Not just necessarily new business," Davis said. "Don't get me wrong, we also take existing businesses out to find out what rules and regulations might be bothering them or hindering their business."

But the cost of it all is now hindering the business of being mayor, and Davis has to explain each dollar spent.

This year alone, Davis has been reimbursed for almost 23,000 miles in ground travel, totaling more than $10,000

In the air, Davis racked up thousands of dollars. Among those flights was Davis' 2010 trip to a Scottsdale, Arizona counseling center, which auditors deemed unrelated to city business. The cost of airfare was $1,136. The trip included $678 in expenses, including a trip to Eddie V's Prime Seafood Restaurant, where the tab was $247.

Davis' hand written note indicates he attended a conference, but state auditors say conferring with a counselor does not qualify.

Davis was at a conference in 2009 when the city paid for $1,900 in rooms at Biloxi's Beau Rivage. That same year, more than $1,800 was charged at the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago.

At the Lowe's Hotel in Philadelphia, more than $1,100 was spent, while at the Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City for a Southaven Parks Department travel and training excursion, room rates totaled almost $5,000.

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