SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - A judge found Southaven Mayor Greg Davis guilty of two misdemeanor charges of passing a school bus and illegal use of flashing blue lights.
Davis was arrested in March for passing a stopped school bus and using flashing blue lights to pull over another motorist. Davis says he did the right thing and was protecting the public from another driver who sped past the bus before him.
The judge commended Mayor Davis for trying to do the right thing, but he said that didn't justify breaking the law. His attorney, Steve Farese, says its proof no good deed goes unpunished.
"He was stopped trying to help the public. Common sense doesn't go very far in this county right now as far as it's concerned with Greg Davis," Farese stated.
Davis was fined $500 for passing a stopped bus and $250 for having blue lights. He must also pay $208 in court costs.
The bus driver, Mayor Davis and a witness all testified.
Davis said he only passed the school bus because another car flew past it, ignoring the stop sign.
He's shocked by the guilty verdict.
"We wanted to make sure young girls crossed the road," he said, "We made sure she was clearly out of way, thought the stop sign was pulled in - the witness said it was - then we went around bus."
The mayor told the court he frequently helps out on city emergencies, using blue lights. He wasn't trying to break the law. The judge said Davis should have just called police with the plate numbers.
Davis said, "I wanted to talk to the driver, to be honest. Had he had a record I would have filled out an affidavit."
Farese believes charges were filed as personal vendetta against Davis. "The message this sends out, if you're trying to be law abiding citizen, help the community, don't do it; stand there with your hands in your pocket and head in the ground."
The blue lights were removed from Davis' car. The mayor now has white and yellow lights, which are legal. After the ruling Davis said he may need to reevaluate how he responds to future emergencies.
The judge gave Davis 30 days to appeal.