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State Auditor demands $170K from Southaven mayor

There's big news this afternoon involving former 1st Congressional District GOP candidate Greg Davis, who is mayor of Southaven in Desoto County. Davis ran against Travis Childers in 2008. This afternoon, State Auditor Stacey Pickering issued a demand of $170,000 from Davis. Here's the news release from Pickering's office issued today. -Michael Newsom.

State Auditor Issues Demand Against Southaven Mayor for $170,000

(Jackson, Miss.) - State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today that a demand has been issued against Southaven Mayor Greg Davis in the amount of $170,782.28 for personal travel and expenses paid for by the City of Southaven. The investigation analyzed records from July 2009 until April 2011.

“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. ”

Breakdown of Demand:The City of Southaven routinely made direct payments to Capitol One Bank after receiving invoices submitted by Davis. However, Davis did not provide the necessary backup information including receipts or copies of the itemized statements for the invoices. Total payments to Capitol One Bank for expenses on Davis’ personal credit card during this time period were $128,642.59.

Davis spent $34,201.11 at Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd. in Scottsdale, Arizona in June and July 2010 for non-work related treatment for Davis and his family. Special agents determined that $4,428.19 of that total was charged to the City of Southaven’s credit card for travel expenses. Direct payments to Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd. totaling $20,518.00 were made by the City of Southaven. Remaining charges were charged to Davis’ personal credit card and that credit card was paid by the City of Southaven. Davis repaid $13,199.82 in April 2011, a portion of the expenses for his wife’s time at Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd. Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering has recovered more than $4.8 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. Auditor Pickering currently serves on the Domestic Working Group for the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States. He also serves on the Financial Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and Performance Audit Committees for the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and is a member of the National State Auditors Association. Prior to serving as State Auditor, Pickering served as a State Senator from 2004-2007 representing Jones County and is credited for co-authoring legislation allowing Mississippi to end lawsuit abuse. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm. ###

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