Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is asking to be removed from a lawsuit by the state of Mississippi that is seeking to recover millions in misspent welfare funds.
The Associated Press reports an attorney for the longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback filed papers Monday saying the Mississippi Department of Human Services “groundlessly and irresponsibly seeks to blame Favre for its own grossly improper and unlawful handling of welfare funds and its own failure to properly monitor and audit” how organizations used the money.
“Including Favre in this lawsuit has had the intended effect—it has attracted national media attention to this case,” Favre’s attorney, Eric D. Herschmann, wrote in the filing in Hinds County Circuit Court.
Additionally, Herschmann wrote the lawsuit focuses on the welfare agency’s “false insinuations concerning Favre’s supposed involvement” instead of the agency itself “which in fact is responsible for allowing this scandal to occur.”
Favre, who was raised in the Magnolia State, is not facing criminal charges but is one of more than three dozen people and companies being sued by the Mississippi Department of Human Services in what has become the largest public corruption case in the state’s history.
According to the suit, the defendants used more than $20 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program (TANF).
Favre has repaid the $1.1 million he received in speaking fees from the Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit that spent money it received from the TANF program with approval from the Department of Human Services. State auditor Shad White said Favre still owes $228,000 in interest.
In response to Favre’s request to be dismissed from the suit, White told the AP, “Every party in the civil case is free to make the arguments that they would like to make, and I’m not going to comment on them. The court system can see the case through, and the judge can determine who owes what back.”
Favre played 19 seasons in the NFL for the Packers, Jets and Minnesota Vikings. The three-time MVP won Super Bowl XXXI with the Packers. During his career, Favre threw for 71,838 yards, 508 touchdowns, and 336 interceptions.