Hancock County

Defense begins in Longo trial

The defense began questioning witnesses this morning in the embezzlement trial of Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo.

Former City Clerk Robyn Gavagnie testified Longo requested she turn on his Fuelman card for diesel fuel, which she said she would have done as procedure.

Defense attorney Don Rafferty argued that the city handbook doesn’t list a policy prohibiting the use of Fuelman cards to fuel private vehicles and asked Gavagnie to point to a policy in the handbook if it existed.

On cross-examination, prosecutor Crosby Parker handed Gavagnie the document again and asked her to show him any policy that allows city employees to kill someone.

“That’s absurd,” Rafferty objected.

Several witnesses shared occasions when they saw the three-term mayor using his personal vehicle for public business, including WLOX TV reporter Al Showers and Gail Cunningham, the senior vice president of Keep America Beautiful.

Cunningham said Longo chauffeured her during several visits in 2008 and 2009 as she organized beautification projects in Waveland.

The Sun Herald is providing continued coverage of the trial in Hancock County Circuit Court.