Judge and prosecutor recuse themselves from Southaven mayor's case

(WMC-TV) – The case against Southaven Mayor Greg Davis is on hold because both the judge and prosecutor recused themselves from the case. Both say they have known Davis for years.

Wednesday, Davis pleaded not guilty to charges of passing a stopped school bus in a private vehicle that displayed blue police-type lights.

Mayor Davis' attorney says it is a traffic case he wants to see handled very quickly, but he applauds Judge Billy Lantrum for doing the right thing.

"I think the judge did the right thing. He was in a no-win situation and he knew the mayor since childhood and he wanted to make sure there was an even playing field for everyone," said Greg Davis' attorney Steve Farese.

Judge Lantrum announced that the prosecutor handling the case will be recusing himself as well.

"Because you don't want any perception of injustice to occur," said Farese. "If the mayor is found not guilty, there will be someone out there saying 'Oh, it was fixed. He was friends with the judge and the prosecutor.' There are always naysayers out there and this is to prevent an appearance of impropriety.

Davis' attorney was later ordered by the court to file a motion to ask a judge and prosecutor from another county to hear the case.

"The mayor stated that he thought it put the judge in an awkward position and that he was in a no-win scenario and he thought because of all the publicity that's been swirling around him that it would probably be in the judge's best interest. So he said, 'Yes, I think you should recuse yourself.'"

Meanwhile, Davis is still the target of state auditors and an FBI investigation into his misuse of city funds.

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