Defense rests in Tommy Longo embezzlement trial - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Defense rests in Tommy Longo embezzlement trial

BAY ST. LOUIS (WLOX) - The defense has rested in the embezzlement trial of Waveland mayor Tommy Longo.  The mayor did not take the stand.  He is accused of using a city issued fuel card to spend more than 1000 dollars in gas for his personal vehicle.  Closing arguments in the trial are set for Friday morning.

Eearlier in the day, the defense callled WLOX News Hancock County reporter Al Showers to testify. Longo is charged with stealing $1,100 by using the city fuel card to gas up his personal vehicle.

Showers was one of three witnesses to take the stand Thursday morning as the defense worked to establish that Longo used his personal vehicle for city business. Showers told the jury about an occasion when he saw Longo at a city event in his personal vehicle. Under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker, Showers said he didn't know where the mayor went after fueling his personal vehicle, nor could he remember another occasion when he saw Longo on city business in his personal vehicle.

Also testifying Thursday, Gail Cunningham, Senior Vice President with Keep America Beautiful. Cunningham told the jury about four occasions she worked with Longo when he used his personal vehicle while on city business.

Cunningham also testified she witnessed Longo having difficulty getting in and out vehicles. Wednesday, Longo's defense attorney Don Rafferty told the jury Longo drove his personal truck because it was better equipped to accommodate the mayor's physical needs. Longo has had hip and knee surgeries, which Rafferty said makes it difficult for the mayor to get in and out of a vehicle.

A former Waveland purchasing clerk testified that Longo requested his Fuelman card be "turned on" to purchase diesel. Under cross, Robyn Gavagnie said she could not remember if that had actually been done. However, the defense asked about allowances for disabilities. Gavagnie said there was a disability clause in the city employee handbook. She also testified there isn't a policy restricting the use of private vehicles on city business.

WLOX News reporter Elizabeth Vowell is in the courtroom and will have updates on WLOX News and wlox.com.

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