MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The retrial for former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis is underway. Davis is accused of buying a city-owned SUV without approval and accepting mileage reimbursements that were also billed to a city credit card.
Davis was convicted of the crimes in 2014, but the Mississippi court of appeals reversed the ruling, saying the trial judge should have moved the case out of DeSoto County. That's why the retrial Is taking place in Oxford.
In opening statements, District Attorney John Champion addressed the jury by telling them this would not be a long, complicated trial. Testimony centered around details of how lease-purchase agreements are handled when it comes to city-issued vehicles.
According to the prosecution, Davis asked that a vehicle be leased for his use through Southaven's utility department, not through the mayor’s office.
A lease agreement was made through the city of Southaven and Tom Bell leasing out of Memphis.
Champion said Davis terminated the lease a month before it expired so he could buy it for himself at a cheap price.
"When the lease expired, the city of Southaven had the opportunity to purchase that vehicle. For use or if they paid the residual value on it or they could turn it back in and do something else. But that right belonged to the citizens and the city of Southaven. Not Greg Davis,” said Champion.
The trial is expected to take a few days.
If Davis is convicted, the judge will decide his punishment, not the jury.
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