Brett Favre Owes $828,000 In Mississippi Welfare Funds, Could Face Lawsuit
By Jason Hall
October 13, 2021
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre will face a lawsuit if he doesn't repay $828,000 in Mississippi welfare funds, according to a letter sent to him by the state auditor.
Mississippi Today's Anna Wolfe reports Favre was among several Mississippi residents to receive letters from the state auditor's office demanding repayment of misspent funds received from the federal government's Temporary Assistance for Needy Famiies (TANF) in which he received $1.1 in welfare money from the state.
According to Wolfe, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback received the federal grant funds to sponsor a "familiy-stabilizing" initiative backed by then-Gov. Phil Bryant called Families First for Mississippi in which Favre was hired to appear for speaking appearances in which he never attended.
Favre reportedly paid back $500,000 of the funds immediately and agreed to pay the remaining $600,000 owed in installmenets, however, the state of Mississippi has received zero payments since.
State audtiors are now threatening Favre with a civil lawsuit if he doesn't pay $828,000, which includes interest accumulated on payments initially made in 2017 and 2018.
Mississippi Today shared the following portion of the letter sent to Favre below:
“The sum demanded represents illegal expenditures of public funds made to you or to entities or combines for which you are legally obligated to pay and/or the unlawful dispositions of public property, including public funds, made with you or with entities or combines for which you are legally responsible to pay,” the letter reads. “These illegal expenditures and unlawful dispositions were made when you knew or had reason to know through the exercise of reasonable diligence that the expenditures were illegal and/or the dispositions were unlawful.”
Favre was criticized publicly last May for receiving welfare from the state while many families struggled during the early months of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The quarterback denied receiving "monies for obligations I didn't meet" and said he was "unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi."
2/4 I have never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet. To reiterate Auditors White’s statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi.— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) May 7, 2020
4/4 It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) May 7, 2020
Favre faced no charges or legal repercussions for accepting the welfare payments prior to the state's demand on Tuesday.
The auditor's office sent letters demanding repayment for 15 individuals -- including Favre -- or organizations for a total of $77 million in misspent welfare funds, which Mississippi Today notes does "not represent criminal allegations" in connection to the incidents.