Following a state audit, Southaven Mayor Greg Davis has been ordered to repay over $170,000 in improperly undocumented expenditures within the next 30 days.
The state auditor stated at a Wednesday afternoon press conference that an investigation was launched in April after an anonymous tip. He cited a lack of proper internal control with expenses that were approved for reimbursement by the Board of Alderman without the proper receipts for the past 2 1/2 years.
"This demand represents numerous personal expenses including a personal trip to Key West, Florida and other travel expenses, as well as counseling services and associated expenses for Davis and his family," said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “Mayor Davis charged the expenses to a personal credit card and a City of Southaven credit card, both paid by the City of Southaven. These expenses submitted by Mayor Davis as official events and purchases on behalf of the City are a betrayal of the public's trust, and I intend to pursue the recovery of this money to the fullest extent of the law. Clothing purchases, family counseling and personal meals and entertainment are in no way authorized expenses for the City and should not be paid for on the taxpayers' dime."
Pickering said Davis did not provide the necessary backup information, including receipts or copies of the itemized statements for the invoices.
Mayor Davis stated at the press conference that it's all an "accounting error, bookkeeping error; we've learned our lesson and we'll pay back the funds and move forward."
The state said he must make the full payment in 30 days or provide detailed receipts. If not, he could face a civil suit. As for the citizens of Southaven, the politician expects and welcomes their calls.
"You know what, pick up the phone and call me. I'd be happy to talk to them about it individually, one on one."