When they learned last year that Hall of Fame NFL quarterback and Kiln native Brett Favre had taken $1.1 million in welfare money from the state, Mississippians were incensed.
Favre received the federal grant funds to sponsor a “family-stabilizing” initiative pushed by then-Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife called Families First for Mississippi.
The state auditor claimed Favre was hired for speaking engagements he didn’t attend.
Followers of the story were even more miffed when, as months went on after the revelation, officials would not accuse Favre of wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, Favre at last received a demand: He must pay the state $828,000 or face a civil lawsuit.
The auditor’s office sent out letters demanding repayment from Favre and 14 other individuals or organizations for a total of $77 million in misspent welfare dollars.
You can read more about that wildly corrupt enterprise & the sleazy folks (especially Nancy New) who ran it HERE.. but back to Favre: In 2020 he wrote a Facebook post saying it was a misunderstanding & he'd pay all the money back, but he only returned about half. So now…
The $828,000 demand, which also went to Favre Enterprises and business partner Robert Culumber, includes the $600,000 he failed to repay plus interest.
According to the letter sent out by the auditor's office:
“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.”
I'll be honest, got halfway through the word 'expenditures' then went cross-eyed for most of that letter, but I get the gist of it… Basically, 'We hiiiiighly doubt you had zero clue what was going on here/had no idea the situation was at least a little shady when you got a large sum of money for doing nothing.." (No word on if he also received government cheeseheads, too, heh heh). (You see, Green Bay? Cheeseheads? Sports? No?)
Also worth noting, another $5M of that welfare money was paid "in cash to build a state-of-the-art volleyball facility on the University of Southern Mississippi campus" (where Favre's daughter played volleyball). The organization said the volleyball center "would help the poor", but I don't know how much poor people really love volleyball (have never seen Brandon Walker play).
In another odd athlete connection, "The Million Dollar Man" AKA Ted Dibiase Jr. & his son also owe well over $4M in the same scandal. Formerly a great villain in pro wrestling, it's nice to see him bringing that same energy into his every day life.