February 6, 2024
Mississippi Auditor Continues Push To Make Former NFL Quarterback Brett Favre Repay Welfare Money
The Mississippi state auditor filed court papers Monday renewing his effort to force former Green Bay Packers and New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre to repay more than $700,000 that was improperly spent on projects backed by the retired NFL quarterback.
The Huffington Post reports Mississippi auditor Shad White’s request that Favre pay back $730,000 is another chapter in a long-running legal battle over state funds allocated to assist residents in one of the poorest states in the nation.
According to White, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback improperly received $1.1 million in speaking fees from a nonprofit organization that allegedly spent welfare funds with the approval of the state Department of Human Services.
The money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program went toward a volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter started playing on the volleyball team in 2017.
“Brett Favre had no legal right to the possession or control of this $1.1 million,” White’s attorneys wrote in the court filing Monday.
According to NerdWallet, Mississippi has the lowest household median income at $48,610.
Favre, who threw an NFL career-high 336 interceptions during his 20-year career, repaid $500,000 to Mississippi in 2020 and $600,000 in 2021. However, according to White, Favre still owes the state $729,790 due to interest on the original amount he owed.
“It boggles the mind that Mr. Brett Favre could imagine he is entitled to the equivalent of an interest-free loan of $1.1 million in taxpayer money, especially money intended for the benefit of the poor,” White said in a release Monday.
White’s lawsuit is a counterclaim to Favre’s defamation suit against White, which is still pending. Favre has tried to fight back against the claims by filing defamation suits against former NFL players and current podcast hosts Shannon Sharpe and Pat McAfee, but both suits were dismissed.
A lawsuit filed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services in 2022 said TANF money was improperly spent, including $5 million for the volleyball arena and another $1.7 million for the development of a concussion treatment drug.
Favre has not been criminally charged. However, a former human services department director of the state’s welfare agency and a mother and son who ran a nonprofit group and an education company in Mississippi pleaded guilty to state charges of misusing public money.