Southaven mayor in talks to settle civil trial - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Southaven mayor in talks to settle civil trial

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (FOX13) -

Money is the reason why Southaven Mayor Greg Davis is in state court.

Money maybe one reason why reaching a settlement won't be easy.

The Mississippi State Auditor's Office wants all of the $170,000 it claims Mayor Davis spent for personal reasons. Private donors pitched $96,000 to help the mayor pay back any questionable bills.

Defense Attorney Steve Farese told FOX13 News Mayor Davis may want that money back from the state as part of any settlement.

MORE: Davis' civil trial continued until May 13

"I think he is willing to negotiate on all front but we have is both sides having a sense, and we haven't gotten to that point," Farese said.

The civil trial got underway in Jackson and played out Jan. 228-29. It was continued until May 13 because of the number of witnesses that included the mayor's ex-wife and two aldermen. Testimony focused on trips the mayor took.

One trip in particular was to Arizona for marriage counseling, although it was billed to the city as a trip for stress management.

The defense claims the aldermen signed off the expense reports making it all legal. The judge in the case says to save the court time it would be helpful if both sides can settle because the docket is full.

Farese says ending this legal matter for the mayor could help because of the other thorny legal issues still to resolve.

"You know we got about four other balls in the air," Farese said. "Frees you up time to devote other issues."

Settlement talks won't start until Monday, Feb. 4. There is no word on how long the two parties might take to reach a decision.

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