Brett Favre is attempting to have his name cleared again from the welfare lawsuit brought by the state of Mississippi that alleges he took millions of dollars from needy families to help fund a new volleyball gym at his daughter’s college. The lawsuit also names 34 other people as defendants, including a number of well-known Mississippi officials, such as former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services John Davis.
Lawyers for the former Green Bay Packers quarterback filed the appeal on May 15, The Associated Press reported. His attorneys argued that the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ claims against their client are “utterly meritless.”
Favre sat down in an interview with Blaze Media columnist Jason Whitlock on May 16 to discuss several topics. He didn’t go into much detail to the far-right outlet about welfare scandal but did make a brief statement.
“I relish the day that I can talk about it,” Favre told Whitlock.
In their new filing, Favre’s lawyers argue that Department of Human Services officials and Nancy New, who ran nonprofit that had contracts with the Department Human Services and was paid from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds, “concocted and carried out the scheme” to direct the money to have the volleyball arena built, and he was not a part of that effort. New’s organization,
Hinds County Judge Faye Patterson denied a previous request on April 24 from Favre’s attorneys to be removed from the lawsuit.
A state audit conducted in 2020 found that roughly $77 million was improperly used from Mississippi’s TANF program. Favre’s involvement came about when it was discovered he used $5 million to build a new volleyball gym in 2017 at his alma mater University of Southern Mississippi. His daughter also attended the school and was on the volleyball team at the time.
Text messages between Favre and the head of the Mississippi Community Education Center nonprofit Nancy New were revealed. She directed the nonprofit organization with Human services contracts that facilitated in Favre receiving the funds.
Favre also received a total of $1.1 million for speaking engagements for New’s Mississippi Community Education Center that he never attended. New’s organization’s ostensible mission was to use its TANF monies to help the needy. Favre repaid $500,000 in May 2020 and the other $600,000 in October 2022 after he received a demand letter from the state auditor’s office. The auditor’s office says he still owes $228,000.
“If you were to pay me, is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” Favre asked New in one of the messages.
“Nancy thank you again!!!!! John mentioned 4 million and not sure if I heard him right. Very big deal and can’t thank you enough,” read another Favre text message to New.
Criminal charges were never brought against Favre. Eight people have already been indicted, and more than six have pleaded guilty, including New and her 39-year-old son.
His attorneys previously argued that the Department of Human Services is suing to deflect their own involvement. The state’s attorney fired back in March with a statement that said Favre’s attorneys gave a press release rather than legal arguments in asking to be dropped from the suit.
Favre’s interview with Whitlock also went into politic. The three-time NFL MVP expressed how he felt America was run better under the leadership of former President Donald Trump.
“I think Donald was a non-political president, and I liked that about him,” he said to Whitlock. “Was he perfect? Absolutely not. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. I’m flawed just like the rest of ’em. We’re all flawed. But, I really felt like he had our country in a better place and really cared about our people in our country.”
“Black, white, Hispanic, Asian — you name it,” he continued. “I think if you were an American citizen, he cared about you, first and foremost. I don’t know if our current president has the same mentality.”