Taxpayers Billed For Southaven Mayor's Civil Trial

Taxpayers Billed For Southaven Mayor's Civil Trial

The trial to determine if the mayor must repay misspent taxpayer money comes with a price tag of its own. The city is footing the bill for many of the witnesses.
SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - How much are Greg Davis' legal troubles costing Southaven? The trial to determine if the mayor must repay misspent taxpayer money comes with a price tag of its own.

The city is footing the bill for many of the witnesses.

Half a dozen city employees and elected officials are subpoenaed to testify. They all made the trip to Jackson this week with taxpayers covering most of their travel expenses.

"The city is paying for the employees to go down there, the aldermen?" asks Marilyn Edwards.

Hotels, meals - all of those costs are coming out of Southaven taxpayer's pockets.

"Wow," Edwards says. "That's interesting. I was not aware of that."

Three aldermen, along with Southaven's city administrator, city clerk and the mayor's secretary made the trip. Most stayed Sunday through Tuesday.

"Since they're trying to convict him I think the city should pay it," says Kenneth White.

The total cost runs in the thousands. Aldermen and employees are allowed to spend up to $46 per day on food. Hotel stays average $150 a night.

"It doesn't seem right," Edwards says.

"I'm for it even if it costs more," says White. "Sometimes it takes more to right a wrong than it was to let it go."

Only two aldermen took the stand this week. The rest made the trip, but were stuck waiting on the court.

The judge has ordered them to return in May. May's court proceedings could last a whole week, with taxpayers again picking up the travel charges.

The only thing the state may reimburse is travel costs, but aldermen have not received a definite answer on whether mileage will be covered.
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