Former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis was found not guilty on felony fraud and embezzlement charges Tuesday afternoon. The counts were based on a city-leased SUV Davis purchased for personal use, and gas he used from city gas pumps while also being reimbursed.
Davis was ordered to repay the city $170,000 in a separate case from improper charges, among them items purchased at a “sex shop” in Canada.
The verdict came in the second day of Davis’ retrial, and reversed his 2014 conviction on both charges. The state Court of Appeals threw out the original verdict in 2016, ruling Davis should have received a change of venue due to pre-trial publicity.
Under questioning earlier in the day, Davis said he helped collect garbage during a sick-out by sanitation workers, assisted storm victims and rode city streets looking for pot holes.
The testimony was designed to establish Davis as an elected leader who used his vehicle and the gas he put in it to benefit constituents.
Testimony from City Clerk Sheila Heath, now deceased, was read into the record Monday. Heath told Davis he couldn’t purchase the SUV after she requested an opinion from the state auditor’s office.
Davis testified that he thought Heath was confused and was referring to another purchase..