(Southaven, MS) In a letter dated April 20th, 2012, Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering told Southaven Mayor Greg Davis he still owed the city more than $70,000.
Pickering also stated in the letter that if Davis didn’t pay it, he would sue to get it.
That’s exactly what’s happened. Pickering filed suit in Hinds County Chancery Court Friday, August 3rd.
The WREG On Your Side Investigators obtained a copy of the suit and exhibits.
The complaint outlines three counts: illegal reimbursement of personal expenses, illegal use of Southaven credit card and illegal reimbursement of personal mileage.
The suit states Davis, “knowingly and purposely used the city of Southaven’s credit card to make personal purchases, without approval and without reimbursing the city of Southaven.”
It also alleges Davis and his former wife took a trip to Key West, FL and received marital counseling in Arizona with taxpayer money.
Pickering claims in the suit that Davis refused to comply with formal demands to recoup the additional money, totaling $73,915.27.
The state auditor made what some called a surprise visit to the Board of Alderman meeting Tuesday, August 7th to inform Davis that he was planning to seize his paychecks in order to get the money.
If that happens, August 17th would be first Friday Davis would go without getting paid.
Alderman Ronnie Hale watched as it all unfolded at Tuesday’s meeting and says they were told there are three options.
“One is for him to pay it back directly or the bonding company to pay the money back, and we have been issued a statement to not, to pay any monies toward the mayor as well as he’s not to receive any money from the city,” explains Hale.
Mayor Davis says he plans to fight this in court, likely starting with a temporary restraining order to keep his paycheck.
His attorney, Steve Farese says he hasn’t filed, but will likely do so by the end of the week.
He also says they’re mapping out a strategy to respond to the lawsuit.
They have 30 days to do so.
In the meantime, Hale says he and the other alderman plan to continue their focus on the citizens of Southaven, but will face this issue head on.
“This has been ongoing for a long time, the city itself, I’m sure Mayor Davis and the citizens here are ready to move on, put it all behind us, but the only way to put it behind us is to deal with it.”