Brett Favre, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, is involved in the largest public fraud scandal in Mississippi state’s history. According to the state audit, Mississippi has had $77 million stolen from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Since the audit, six people have been arrested, and of the six, five have pleaded guilty to the audit. At this point in time, Favre has publicly denied any involvement and has not yet been criminally charged.
According to the state audit and civil lawsuit, Favre was paid 1.1 million dollars from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for performing speeches he never gave. He eventually paid the 1.1 million dollars back to the state; however, the state is now suing him for $228,000 in interest.
Nancy New, one of the people in charge of the nonprofit tasked with distributing the welfare funds, has since pleaded guilty to fraud. Text messages obtained from the audit show Brett Favre texting Nancy News, “If you were to pay me, is there any way the media can find out where it came from and how much?”
Since the audit, Brett Favre has switched his legal representation. His first lawyer agreed to meet with ESPN to discuss Favre’s situation and then canceled last minute due to scheduling conflicts. Favre is not being represented by Eric Herschmann, a top lawyer in the Trump White House.
This is not the only crisis coming out of Mississippi. The state with the largest Black population in the U.S is currently facing a water crisis as a result of privatization and the state government refusing to appropriate funds to restore the crumbling infrastructure. The state government’s miserly attitude towards supporting their constituents extends past ensuring people’s access to clean drinking water. Mississippi State provides the least amount of welfare assistance in the country. In 2020, Federal data shows that Mississippi “spent less than 5%, or about $3.7 million, on direct cash assistance to poor families, compared to 22% nationally.”