Southaven aldermen testify about Mayor Davis' spending - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven aldermen testify about Mayor Davis' spending

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Southaven Mayor Greg Davis Southaven Mayor Greg Davis
JACKSON, MS -

(WMC-TV) - Southaven Alderman Ronnie Hale was back on the stand for a second day of testimony in the civil trial for Mayor Greg Davis. During this trial, the state is trying to recover funds it believes Davis owes for travel expenses.

Aldermen Ronnie Hale and Greg Guy both testified that there were no real controls in place over Davis' spending. They said the mayor could decide where he wanted to go in order to promote Southaven.

Several of those trips are believed to have been personal trips. Davis' ex-wife, Suzann, testified Monday that the former couple went to Key West, Miami, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. She said they also went to Arizona for counseling.

The Southaven Board of Aldermen approved all of Davis' trips and his spending without looking closely into them. They admit they asked almost no questions.

Even after the Board of Alderman began growing concerned, they still approved Davis' expenses. Several aldermen contacted the state auditor's office about their concerns.

Davis' attorney, Mike Heilman, hinted the aldermen may have gotten a letter from the state indicating that the board could be in trouble for approving everything. Heilman wanted to know why the aldermen continued approving the spending if they thought there was a problem.

Alderman Ronnie Hale spent much of the day looking at documents and tried to answer pointed questions from Davis' attorney. He did not seem to be able to say much of anything about what he did or did not check out in regards to the mayor's spending.

"A day and a half sitting in the chair answering questions over and over trying to get an answer to the question it's kind of confusing at times," Hale said.

The bottom line, according to testimony, is that the aldermen never appeared to be concerned enough to check out what Davis said, but instead continued approving even expenses even after the state investigation began.

Another big part of the two day testimony is the Southaven Policy and Procedures Manual. The manual reportedly gave Davis the right to approve his own travel and expenses.

Heilman frequently held up the policy and procedures manual as he made his points with the state's witnesses.

Southaven Alderman Ronnie Hale testified under tough questioning from Greg Davis' attorney. He said he trusted what the mayor said and knew the manual gave him a lot of leeway to act on his own.

Davis argues that not all of the charges in question were his because six or seven people had access to the city credit card.

After two days of testimony the judge recessed the trial for more than 3 months.

"I don't know, (if a settlement is possible) I doubt it," Davis' attorney Mike Heilman said. "People have talked about everything just like they do in every case."

The trial is scheduled to continue May 13th.

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