Pickering says Davis needs to pay up

By The Associated Press

HERNANDO — State Auditor Stacey Pickering says he expects full payment “sooner rather than later” from Southaven Mayor Greg Davis.

Pickering told the Commercial Appeal during a stop Thursday in north Mississippi that Davis still owes nearly $74,000 of more than $170,000 ordered repaid by the auditor’s office because of questionable spending. The total includes penalties and interest.

Davis has been under investigation by the state and FBI since late last year for spending of city funds.

“Is there a limit to our patience? Correct. We’re actively pursuing recovery of the funds. It’s not a question of if, but when. We’re communicating with Davis’ attorney and the board of aldermen’s attorney, and if push comes to shove, we’ll see Davis in court,” Pickering said.

Southaven has put a number of safeguards in place in the aftermath of Davis’s case. The safeguards include requiring employees to get approval from department heads for in-state travel, with out-of-state travel to be approved by the city administrator and a department head.

Pickering said Southaven officials have been aided by his technical assistance staff, “so the city has access to state attorney general opinions, recognized standards for financial accountability and other resources.