N. Mississippi town changes policies in wake of investigation

(WMC-TV) – A north Mississippi town is changing its policy on city business meal reimbursements after an investigation unfolded into Southaven Mayor Greg Davis' undocumented spending habits.

Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard said the city has a new way of doing things and is introducing a new policy to help ensure a system of checks and balances.

Elected officials and city employees will now face stricter rules regarding meal reimbursements.

"With receipts we know exactly what the money was spent for and we can make that reimbursement to the employee with confidence," said Mayor Rikard.

Tuesday night, the city board of alderman voted in favor of requiring city employees to submit receipts to receive reimbursement for meals eaten during city business.

"Under the law you could be reimbursed up to $46 dollars a day, but we took the position also that we're local and we're going to stick with $36 dollars for DeSoto County also," said the mayor.

Mayor Rikard said the city had required receipts up until 2009 when the board decided to remove the requirement.

"They thought it was cumbersome for the employees to keep those receipts every day. Keep up with them and staple them and add them up. I think that was the logic," he said.

The meal reimbursement policy change comes in the wake of an investigation in Southaven regarding Mayor Greg Davis' spending for meals and other expenses.

"I think in light of all the reporting about expenses and things that have gone on in the last six months, they saw the need to more tightly control this," said Mayor Rikard.

Rikard says he has always submitted receipts, even when it was not required to do so.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.