Ex-Southaven mayor Greg Davis must repay credit card expenses

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Greg Davis will have to repay money a judge ruled he improperly spent while serving as Southaven mayor, the Mississippi Supreme Court said Thursday.

In March 2011, the state auditor’s office accused Davis of charging Southaven taxpayers $128,642.59 in spending on Davis’ personal credit card, which included  counseling with his then wife and personal travel, plus interest and investigative costs incurred by auditor’s office.

Greg Davis, right, enters the DeSoto County courthouse in Hernando, Miss., July 10, 2014, with his attorney Steve Farese.

AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Stan Carroll

Greg Davis, right, enters the DeSoto County courthouse in Hernando, Miss., July 10, 2014, with his attorney Steve Farese.

While the Southaven Board of Aldermen twice approved Davis’ expenditures, the board members met one more time at the auditor’s request and determined members could not be certain whether some $6,000 was related to city business. But the approvals were not rescinded.

At trial in 2014 in Hinds County, Chancellor Dewayne Thomas found Davis liable for all the challenged expenditures.

On Dec. 18, 2015, the Mississippi Court of Appeals denied Davis’ appeal, which the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed 8 to 0 Thursday.

Davis told Mississippi Today on Thursday he believed his bonding company would be responsible for the reimbursement to Southaven.

On July 10, the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Davis on criminal charges related to the spending issues.

DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion told Mississippi Today on Thursday that he’ll retry the case and will meet with Davis’ attorneys and the presiding circuit judge to determine where and when.

Champion also said he will follow the appeals court’s order to try the case where Davis has better chances to get a fair jury. The first trial occurred in DeSoto County, where Davis was a longtime public official and unsuccessful congressional candidate, so many potential jurors were familiar with him and his case.