that Investigative report from Mississippi today It was revealed Tuesday that former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant helped former NFL quarterback Brett Favre obtain welfare funds in order to help build a new volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The news organization reviewed text messages from 2017 and 2019 that were filed on Monday in a Mississippi civil lawsuit over poor spending of welfare funds. The transcripts were submitted by an attorney representing Nancy New, who has already pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of bribery, fraud and extortion due to her role in the welfare plan. Junior was the founder of the Mississippi Community Education Center, which was tasked with spending tens of millions in federal welfare funds to help the state.
State auditors determined that leaders of nonprofit organizations misled at least $77 million in welfare funds in the largest public fraud in Mississippi history.
The transcripts show Favre, New, and Bryant discussing how to divert at least $5 million in welfare money to build a volleyball court in Southern Miss. Favre played football for the Southern Miss, and his daughter was a volleyball player there at the time. sent.
“If you’re going to pay me, is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” asked the new Favre in 2017.
After telling Favre that “this information was never released,” she returned to him the next day.
“Wow, I just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He’s on the plane with us! We’re going to get this done!” New Favre said.
In another message sent in July 2019, Bryant told New that he had just finished meeting Favre and asked if they could help him with his project.
Favre’s attorney, Bud Holmes, denied to Mississippi Today that the former quarterback knew he had received welfare money.
“Brett Favre has been a supervisor throughout this whole thing,” Holmes told the news organization.
Favre had told the outlet in 2020 that he had not discussed the volleyball court project with Bryant.
Bryant, who left his post in January 2020, has long denied helping to fund welfare for the stadium project, and did not address the transcripts in a statement to Mississippi Today that accused New’s defense team of “caring more about pre-trial propaganda than they do now. With justice.” civil”.
Mississippi Today reports that the volleyball court is not part of the state’s civil lawsuit. Favre and Bryant have not been charged with a criminal offense.
Last year, Favre paid Mississippi $600,000, an amount he paid for letters he never received. Favre was commissioned in 2017 and 2018 to promote a government initiative to fight poverty, and was awarded $1.1 million. The state auditor’s office reported that it initially returned $500,000 of the amount, but earlier this month, Favre was asked in a letter to pay the remainder plus interest.
Then, in May, the Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a civil lawsuit against Favre because he had not paid interest on $1.1 million that amounted to $228,000.
According to text messages in the filing obtained by Mississippi Today, the $1.1 million deal with the state was another way to finance the volleyball stadium project.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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