NORTHWAY COLUMN: Things getting frosty in Southaven

December 8, 2011

Politics

Today, there is a warning on the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s website about icy accumulation in North Mississippi. It is for the I-55 bridge over the Coldwater River in DeSoto County.

However, it would appear that the really slick ice in DeSoto County is at the Southaven Mayor’s Office.

>> SEE RELATED STORY FROM THE MBJ

The Associated Press is reporting that Southaven Mayor Greg Davis is under investigation by the FBI in connection with Davis’ alleged expenditures of taxpayer money for personal use. The FBI offered no details, and AP reports it could not reach Davis for comment.

Davis is accused of using more than $150,000 in taxpayer money for such things as family counseling, clothes, meals and entertainment. The misappropriations were uncovered after a seven-month investigation by the State Auditor’s Office.

Including investigative expenses and interest, the state last month demanded Davis repay more than $170,000.

Perhaps “demanded” is a little strong. More than a few howls of protest were heard when the state announced it was not going to pursue criminal charges, and would allow Davis to repay the money on a payment schedule after he missed the original repayment deadline. Oops!

It smells of good-old-boy cronyism. Davis is a Republican. State Auditor Stacey Pickering is a Republican. Other than the Attorney General’s Office (ironically), the GOP holds every statewide office.

If Davis were a Democrat, would he have been offered such leniency by the state? I’m just asking.

Well, the FBI has proven it isn’t much on partisan politics or back-slapping. If Davis indeed misappropriated funds to the degree described, Pickering, Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, Republican Gov.-elect Phil Bryant — nobody — is going to be able to keep the feds off his tail.

Stealing taxpayer money is always heinous. But, during these times when families are struggling to meet their basic needs, keep their homes and jobs, etc., to hear allegations of a trusted public official using taxpayer funds for a family outing to Scottsdale, Ariz., is… what’s a word worse than heinous? Repugnant doesn’t seem to cover it.

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One Response to “NORTHWAY COLUMN: Things getting frosty in Southaven”

  1. Clayton Says:

    You should check the jurisdiction here. The State Auditor does not have the authority to prosecute criminally. That is the job of the Attorney General or the local District Attorney or the FBI. If you’re going to criticize someone for not prosecuting, you should direct those complaints to the DA who covers DeSoto County, or to AG Jim Hood.

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