Southaven investigation halts city business - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven investigation halts city business

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis Southaven Mayor Greg Davis

(WMC-TV) – After saying he would not step down, Southaven Mayor Gregg Davis was at work Tuesday while the investigation into his spending has put all city business on hold.

When state and federal law enforcement agencies honed in on questionable spending by Davis, city business hit a massive speed bump.

Davis is back in the building after a three and a half week sabbatical.

"I'm not entertaining any questions at this time," Davis said Monday after he issued his first public statement in weeks.

Alderman Ronnie Hale asked the mayor to resign before the break, but with no law on the books to recall Davis, Hale said the mayor is still in charge of city business.

"We can't interfere," he said. "We can't control the day-to-day operations. We're just here to set policies and procedures and make sure those are followed."

Despite the distraction, Hale said city business is still in motion.

"We've got department heads in place," he said. "All our employees are competent."

But there is a problem with the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

MDOT froze funding for all Southaven projects due to the investigation.

Hale said the mayor does not have to be the only point man.

"We're already taking some other courses… and maybe get things to a point where MDOT's acceptable," he said. "If we can do that, we can get our money back."

And then there's the slowdown on future land acquisition, after the mayor's real estate developer friend appeared to profit from insider information.

A state audit also revealed Southaven has spent $30,000 of taxpayer money per month to rent Fire Station 2 on a no bid contract.

And now, a plan to buy land for a senior center is on hold.

"Everything is on hold until we see appraisals, until we know it's a good value and good purchase for the city," Hale said.

The investigation will also add red tape to city contracts, as the public questions how the mayor could have used the city credit cards for years - paying for a purchase at a gay sex shop, vacations, parties and liquor - without red flags going up all over city hall.

The county attorney and the alderman are part of the new checks and balances system on all future contracts.

"We're going to look at everything with a fine-tooth comb," Hale said. "It's just that simple."

The aldermen meet next on February 7.

So far, no charges have been filed against Southaven's mayor of 15 years. However, he still owes the city $63,000 for the inappropriate purchases.

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