SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Southaven's Board of Aldermen held a special meeting, voting to ask for Mayor Greg Davis' resignation. They said it's necessary to move forward with city business and restore confidence in government.
The state accused Davis of spending $170,000 in taxpayer dollars on himself and he could face criminal charges.
Davis was not at Friday's meeting. In fact, no one has seen the mayor for weeks and now they may not see him for quite a while. Davis said he's taking extended time off for health reasons. The mayor's lawyer released a statement from him saiding he won't be back for 30 to 60 days.
"Here it is a new year, January 6, and we haven't heard from him," observed Southaven resident Michael Smith. "We are a city where the mayor is AWOL."
Southaven residents haven't seen or heard from their mayor since December 20th. On January 6, 2012, the Board of Alderman voted to ask for Davis' resignation; even they didn't know about the mayor's plans to take up to two months off.
Greg Guy, Southaven Alderman At Large, told abc24.com, "I spoke to him briefly yesterday, I was not aware of the amount of time he's taking and that is not what we discussed yesterday."
"'I realize I am a public official but I am also a human being…,'" read Davis' lawyer, Steve Farese, from a prepared statement by the mayor. Farese said Davis has been in an out of a state health care facility since December 26th.
Southaven resident Samuel Williams is suspicious about the timing of the mayor's announcement, coming the same day the board voted for his resignation. "Oh I know this better than that. We sent him out to Arizona for his health problem, so we took care of those to the tune of $30,000… and he's still got health problems?"
Smith added, "We aren't going to stop doing what's right for citizens of Southaven because of absence by the mayor."
But will Davis step down?
Farese replied, "That would be something after Mayor Davis, after considering his health problems, would make a decision in the future."
Unless he's convicted of a felony, Davis does not have to leave office. He's still collecting a pay check; the mayor makes $140,000 a year. The board can decide in the future to reduce that salary and some of his duties, which they said they'll consider over the coming weeks.