SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Southaven Mayor Greg Davis hopes to have an answer this week on whether the state auditor can garnish his paycheck.
The mayor has filed suit to block the auditor's attempt to reclaim money Davis is accused of misspending. But that's not all. The mayor has also filed suit against the city he heads.
Davis and his lawyer have filed two claims. One is a restraining order to prevent the state from seizing the mayor's pay. They argue Davis' rights are being violated.
The second claim is against the city, saying the board has illegally taken the mayor's money.
"We do not feel like we've had a constitutional due process requirement." That's what Mayor Greg Davis told us last week after the state auditor garnished his $145,000 annual salary.
From the start, Davis said he'd fight it. What's surprising, the city of Southaven is also named in the suit.
"They were directed to do that by state auditor," says lawyer Steve Farese. "Since they are the party that will have to withhold his salary, we had to join them."
Farese says not only that, but the board acted illegally when it stripped Davis of a $35,000 utility stipend in January. They want that money back too.
"In order for the Board of Aldermen to legally reduce one's salary they'd have to have a meeting on it and a vote on it and it would have to be included in the minutes." Farese says it didn't happen that way, and therefore wasn't legal. "The acting mayor sent an email to comptroller that said to reduce his salary."
As far as any difficulties arising from the mayor suing the city he runs, "I would say the mayor is already in a difficult position," Farese tells abc24.com.
"He didn't create the situation where they came in and seized his salary. He didn't create the situation where the board illegally lowered his salary. He has no choice. If any difficulties arise, then they arise. He has no control over that. He has no other avenue to go."
The mayor's court date was set for this Thursday, but there's a scheduling conflict with the judge and it may have to be moved.
Southaven's Board of Aldermen will also be meeting in executive session this week to discuss this lawsuit.