Southaven mayor avoids lawsuit with payment plan

By The Associated Press

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi state auditor’s office will allow Southaven Mayor Greg Davis to pay a “substantial” portion of the $170,000 he owes by week’s end and will use a bond to recover whatever portion isn’t covered by the payment.

The auditor’s office said on Nov. 2 that it had issued a demand letter to Davis for $153,589 for expenses, $16,822 for interest and $13,571 for investigative costs. Davis has presented the auditor with receipts for what he said was $53,000 in expenses.

However, Davis missed a Friday deadline to repay all the money.

No additional civil legal action will be taken for the moment in lieu of the promised partial payment, said Lisa Shoemaker, spokeswoman for state Auditor Stacey Pickering, told The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/vj4T84 )

“We talked to the mayor’s attorney, and we were told to expect a substantial partial payment in five to seven days. We don’t know how much it is, only that they indicated it would be a substantial partial payment sent by mail.

“The bond is for up to $100,000, and every elected official is required to have a bond,” she said. “If we are not able to get the reminder of the money owed, we will use the bond to recover the taxpayers’ money in this ongoing investigation,” Shoemaker said Monday.

Altogether, the auditors cited $170,782 worth of unsubstantiated expenses, including penalties and interest, which they said Davis must repay or produce receipts to prove it was city business.

The investigation leading to the order revealed charges that included family counseling, clothing purchases and personal meals and entertainment, all charged to a city-issued credit card or to Davis’s personal card for reimbursement by the city.

“My attorney plans on mailing the check on Thursday,” Davis said. “We are going to get with my supporters and see how much is in the account they set up and go from there.”