SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - Making his first public appearance since before the Christmas holiday, embattled Southaven Mayor Greg Davis made a brief statement to the media that he would not be stepping down from office.
Davis has reportedly been in rehab since before the holiday. He is under investigation by the state auditor's office for questionable spending of taxpayer dollars. Davis was told he had to pay back or validate $170,000 of expenditures. Among them were claims for travel, stress counseling, expensive dinners with $1,000 tips, $18,000 worth of liquor and $67 at a gay sex shop in Canada. Following a review of $44,000 in receipts and a payment of $96,000 submitted to the state, his new balance is $62,881.89, due immediately.
At a press conference at City Hall on January 30, 2012, Davis stated he had no plans to resign and that he "looked forward to working with everyone." He also spoke briefly on his struggles coming out as a gay man.
The Southaven Board of Aldermen voted to request the mayor's resignation. By law they cannot impeach Davis; he must either resign or be convicted of a felony in order to be removed from office.
The following is a transcript of the statement made by Mayor Greg Davis:
I want to thank everyone for coming out today, but more importantly I want to thank my family, friends and supporters who continue to stand and pray for me throughout this difficult time.
I am looking forward to continuing working for all the citizens of Southaven. For that reason, I have no intentions of resigning. I hope that together with new policies adopted by the board we can continue to work together to move Southaven forward as we have done in the past.
As we move forward I feel certain questions will be answered with factual data and it will be up to each citizen at that point to determine their own reactions.
However, there is one area I would like to address. It concerns the accusations of knowingly deceiving the board. On December 20th, I recall using the word 'deceiving' in a meeting with department heads and later the board in executive session concerning my sexual orientation. I had not only done that to those around me to those who loved me but also to myself. It deeply hurts that some have taken that very personal struggle and manipulated it and twisted it maliciously into something that was never intended.
In the past I too may have reacted in a similar manner, however I believe it is more important to build up than to tear down.
This administration has been and will continue to be constructive, not destructive, and I look forward to working together with everyone.
Again, thank you for coming and I will not be answering any questions at this time.