Mayor Davis charged with embezzlement by a public official | News
SOUTHAVEN, MS- (WMC-TV) – Southaven Mayor Greg Davis bonded out of the DeSoto County Jail Tuesday afternoon after being charged with two counts of embezzlement by a public official and one count of false pretenses.
Davis was indicted by a grand jury in DeSoto County.
"This investigation is ongoing. It is not by any stretch of the imagination finished," said DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion. "This is just the beginning of what I for see to be a long process of fishing up the investigations and then taking things to various courts and grand juries for decisions."
According to the indictment, one of the embezzlement charges stems from Davis purchasing a vehicle leased by the City of Southaven without proper "authority to conduct the transaction".
"The mayor took things upon himself and obtained the vehicle without approval from the Board of Aldermen," said Champion.
The indictment also accuses Davis of filling that vehicle with city-owned gas from Southaven's fuel pumps.
"He was obtaining gas that belonged to the city, placing it into a personal vehicle, and then in turn, being reimbursed for that same gasoline that he already obtained through the city pumps," said Champion.
The third charge indicates Davis obtained a check for $1,000 under false pretenses in order to pay his debts.
"He requested a check to pay the dues to the bully block and those dues were never paid," said the district attorney.
"There are many, many more things that are going to be looked at. Some of it may be criminal, some of it maybe not. We are actively investigating other people as well," said Champion. "We are investigating numerous people, and whether or not charges will be filed against them, we'll have to follow the evidence and just let it see where it leads us."
The DeSoto County district attorney says his office is working closely with the state auditor's office, as well as the FBI and United States Attorney's Office.
Champion says Davis is not being targeted or singled out for any reason, but that he is facing charges because he broke the law. Additional charges could also be filed.
"It's not political. It's not personal. When I look at it, it's what he's brought on himself," said Champion. "Whether people call it political or not, people call it whatever they wanna call it. Fact of the matter is, we recovered the evidence we recovered. We look at the law to see it was violated. And we moved forward."
Adding up the potential sentences for each charge, Davis faces a maximum of 35 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Click here to read the full indictment against Southaven Mayor Greg Davis.
Davis' history: Misuse of city funds
Davis has been under investigation for the last year, accused of using city funds for his own personal use.
In November, Mississippi auditors ordered Davis to repay more than $170,000 to the city. A court battle ensued as the auditors worked to garnish Davis' paycheck to get the remaining $73,000 they say is owed.
Davis is scheduled to appear in court over the remainder that is owed to the city on January 28.
Throughout the investigation, Davis has denied any wrongdoing. He claims all of the trips he took in which he spent city funds were related to city business and he said all expenditures were approved by the Board of Alderman.
Alleged request to alter official documents
In addition to the city funds investigation, Davis is accused of hiding money from his ex-wife by asking city officials to alter payroll documents.
Three city employees signed affidavits stating that the mayor admitted he gave his ex-wife fake earnings statements.
Illegal passing of a school bus
In September, Mayor Davis was also found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus and using flashing lights on a private vehicle.
Greg Davis has been mayor of Southaven since 1997.
Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.