Former Southaven mayor Greg Davis applies for Sardis tourism job

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis has applied for a new tourism position based in the town of Sardis, according to a report from Jeremy Weldon, editor of The Panolian in Batesville.

Davis was indicted for embezzlement and fraud charges in a scandal that cost him the mayoral job, and he became the topic of extensive media coverage as a result. He was convicted of charges in 2014 and sentenced to serve 30 months in prison but he appealed and ultimately was found not guilty by a Lafayette County Circuit Court jury in June 2017, exonerating the former politician.

Davis has been working in the private sector for Home Depot in Horn Lake. Earlier this year it appeared Davis would be hired as planner for the city of Horn Lake, but public outcry stopped that opportunity.

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Weldon reported in Tuesday’s Panolian that Davis applied for the tourism position based in Sardis and that applications for the position will be accepted through today. At least three other resumes have been received.

Davis told Weldon in an interview that he is anxious to return to public service work, especially in economic development.

“I do believe I have some skills and contacts that would be useful to economically under-served areas,” Davis said. “Sardis is one of those areas that have great potential for growth.”

Davis said the city’s proximity to Memphis and Oxford, combined with the natural attraction of Sardis Lake and John Kyle State Park are promising assets for development projects.

Davis told Weldon that he has learned “people will throw whatever they can at other people to distract them from reaching their goals.

“I hope that doesn’t happen in this case,” Davis said.

The tourism position is being offered by The Panola Partnership, Panola County’s economic development organization led by CEO Joe Azar. Plans are that the new project manager will have an office in Sardis City Hall with needed resources to operate a tourism department.

“This is a Partnership position and we will make a recommendation to the whole Partnership once the (interview) process is completed,” Azar told Weldon.

One supporter Davis already has in Sardis is Board of Alderman member Michael Price, who is excited about the new position to promote the city. He hopes Davis gets the job.

“When he was serving in Southaven no one can deny that Greg Davis has made a major impact,” Price told Weldon. “That’s what we need here. Somebody with experience who can come in and develop all we have to offer.”

In February of this year Davis withdrew his application to work with Horn Lake as city planner, posting a statement on his Facebook page.

“Countless colleagues, friends, business owners, and constituents have voiced their support and encouragement in my application for city planner throughout the entire process and I am humbled to have been considered. I believe I am uniquely qualified in so many ways to serve Horn Lake and looked forward to devoting my full energy to that endeavor. However, since submitting my application, the process has been stagnant since September of 2017, full of false hopes and political rhetoric,” Davis wrote.

“While I am confident that my experience and knowledge would have served Horn Lake well, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my candidateship for the position of City Planner for Horn Lake by emailing the Mayor and Board of Aldermen today.”