Davis scandal prompts change at Action News 5

(WMC-TV) - Southaven city officials are preparing for a standing room only crowd during next Tuesday's meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen.

It will be the first meeting since embattled Mayor Greg Davis returned from an undisclosed treatment facility.

Davis is at the heart of an ongoing criminal probe into questionable spending of city money and the ongoing saga has prompted a personnel change at Action News 5.

George Payne was a WMC-TV employee long before he won a seat on the Southaven Board of Aldermen.

"I came to Channel 5 straight out of college -- my first job," Payne said.

Payne works as the station's satellite truck operator, and while technically an employee of the news department, he makes no editorial decisions and neither writes nor delivers the news.

"Where Channel 5 needs me the most is where I'm more than willing to work," he said.

Thus far, political stories in Southaven have not presented a potential conflict of interest, but the story involving Mayor Greg Davis' spending habits has yet to be resolved.

Therefore, WMC-TV management decided to re-assign Payne from the news department to engineering.

"Nothing has happened to be concerned about the quality of our coverage, but there's always an issue of being objective and that's what we're dealing with here," said Lee Meredith, WMC-TV general manager.

"Channel 5's been more than gracious to even work with me on this," said Payne. "I can't imagine a lot of companies that even would."

Payne said he looks forward to many more years with WMC-TV while simultaneously serving the citizens of Southaven.

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