Davis tries to move Southaven forward through "distracting" investigation

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis

(WMC-TV) - Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering's investigation of Southaven Mayor Greg Davis has swung the mayor's office into a tailspin over the last month.

"While this is distracting at times, we've got to get back to the purpose of running the city and making sure we continue to grow," Davis said.

The audit of questionable spending on Davis' city credit card has him spending time locating over $170,000 in receipts to prove he used that money for city business.

So far, he has turned over $53,000 in receipts to the state auditor, but he is trying to locate more receipts.

"After the state auditor came in, he said he would work with us if we got some receipts," Davis said. "So that's what we've been doing."

From the moment the public learned of the probe, Davis began answering questions. He held a mid-day news conference at City Hall November 2nd.

"It's an expensive lesson to learn," he said during the news conference.

Two weeks later, Davis answered more questions about a city reimbursement for a donation he made to the Bully Bloc Political Action Committee in support of Mississippi State University.

Cities are prohibited from using taxpayer dollars for political donations

"I know that there were good intentions for those expenses," Davis said.

The investigation has also bled into the Board of Alderman agenda. The board recently took time to vote on new spending rules that require pre-approval of city purchases for all employees.

While Davis has been transparent about the investigation, he admits there are other pressing matters that need his attention.

"We've got to keep moving the City of Southaven forward," he said. "We've gone from the 10th largest city to the 3rd largest city. Our retail has grown. All of the investments we've made are coming through, and we've got some other big projects."

Pickering has given Davis until Friday to find the receipts and or pay the balance. If not, the city can sue him and the federal government can press criminal charges.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.