State Watch

Favre says he’s been ‘unjustly smeared’ by media

Former NFL star Brett Favre said he has been “unjustly smeared” by the media over his alleged role in Mississippi’s misuse of federal welfare funds, Fox News reported on Tuesday.

“I have done nothing wrong, and it is past time to set the record straight,” Favre said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Favre is allegedly connected to more than $8 million in misspent funds from the federal government’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including $5 million that he secured for a new volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Favre is an alumnus of USM, where his daughter was also a member of the volleyball team.

Favre denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was not aware the money came from welfare funds. 

“No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me,” Favre said in the statement to Fox News. “I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university.”

“I was told that the legal work to ensure that these funds could be accepted by the university was done by State attorneys and State employees,” he added.

Favre is just one part of a larger welfare scandal in Mississippi that resulted in the diversion of tens of millions of dollars in TANF funding away from the low-income families it was intended to serve.

The remaining $3 million in funds allegedly connected to Favre come from $1.1 million that Favre received for unfulfilled speaking engagements and $2.1 million that a Favre-backed pharmaceutical company received.

The NFL star has since repaid the state for the $1.1 million in speaking engagements. However, the state claims that Favre still owes more than $200,000 in interest.

Favre has not been criminally charged in relation to the misspent funds, but the state of Mississippi has filed a civil lawsuit against him and several others related to the welfare scandal.

Tags Brett Favre Brett Favre Mississippi NFL Sports welfare fraud welfare funds

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