Text messages shed light on Favre’s alleged role in a Mississippi welfare scheme

As he is embroiled in a civil lawsuit, text messages made public this month shed new light on former NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s alleged role in a years-long welfare scheme. What’s making headlines: The text messages, obtained by Mississippi Today and filed in court last week, show that former Gov. Phil Bryant (R) assisted Favre in his alleged scheme to divert federal welfare funds to build a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi for more than $5 million. Favre’s daughter attended USM before transferring to LSU in August. “Is there any way the media could find out where it came from and how much it cost if you paid me?” According to the New York Times, Favre inquired in 2017 about a $1.1 million proposal for promotional efforts that actually went toward building the stadium. On the other hand, Favre’s lawyer, Bud Holmes, told Axios that his client “did absolutely nothing wrong” and that the people who paid Favre did not want that information made public. He maintains that Favre was paid in advance for appearances, which were covered by contracts that stated he would be contacted to make the appearances. But, according to Holmes, he was never asked to appear. According to his attorney, Favre used the money he was paid to build the volleyball court, and he also contributed millions of dollars of his own money. According to Mississippi Today, the texts also show that Bryant assisted Favre in writing a funding proposal that was approved by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Meanwhile, Bryant had fired John Davis, the agency’s former executive director, for alleged fraud. According to the Justice Department, Davis pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to defraud the state of millions of dollars in federal funds. Background: According to Axios’ Julia Shapero, a state audit in 2020 discovered that Mississippi misappropriated tens of millions of dollars in welfare funds, including $1.1 million for speaking engagements that Favre did not attend. While Favre eventually repaid the state $1.1 million, the Department of Human Services filed a lawsuit in May accusing Favre and others of misusing and receiving welfare funds illegally.