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Newspaper reports Davis double-billed for entertainment, travel

SOUTHAVEN — A $700 restaurant tab was among 26 entertainment and travel bills that Southaven Mayor Greg Davis asked both the city and the local Chamber of Commerce to pay during three months in 2010, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported yesterday.

Davis told the newspaper that not having to send either the city or the chamber bills or other documents may have triggered mistakes, but not any wrongdoing.

“There has never been any intentional double billing of any type or any kind,” Davis, 46, who already is the focus of a state audit and an FBI investigation into other spending issues, told the newspaper.

The newspaper said it found more than $5,100 in double charges. It says internal controls and record keeping were so poor that any double charges beyond those 26 are difficult to confirm.

For years, the city and chamber paid Davis to wine and dine business prospects and political leaders by writing monthly checks to his personal Capital One credit card.

The chamber paid Davis $207,000 for entertainment and travel since 2004. The city paid $153,588 since 2009. Neither required him to routinely submit receipts or other documentation for his spending.

Davis said last Friday he used that card strictly for mayoral promotions of the city and that since 2008 he’s contributed approximately $266,000 “of my own private money” to pay charges on it.

Former federal prosecutor John R. Osgood said he couldn’t speak directly about Davis, but said the records pose questions criminal investigators would want to explore.

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