Back in 2017 and 2018, the state of Mississippi paid the star quarterback $1.1 million to make motivational speeches. That money came out of the funds intended for needy families. No speeches were ever made and the State Auditor Shad White demanded Favre pay the money back with interest. Favre repaid the fees but hasn’t given the $228,000 in interest that was demanded.
Millions of Mississippi’s TANF funds were spent on first-class air travel, horse ranches, hiring retired pro wrestlers, and a $5 million women’s volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi which Favre’s daughter once attended.
“Gave me $5 million for v-ball facility via grant money,” said Favre in a text message.
Favre declined to speak with news outlets, but his lawyer Buddy Holmes confirmed the FBI did question Favre about the case. Holmes explained his client did nothing wrong as he was unaware he was paid with money intended to help poor families.
“It’s a mystery to us,” Former U.S. Attorney Brad Pigott said. “Here we had tens of millions of dollars sent by the country to do the thing that we need done the most and it was squandered.”
Pigott issued a subpoena in July to get answers about how the women’s volleyball facility was funded. This included potential communications between the university and former State Governor Phil Bryant who directed the spending. Bryant also claimed he was unaware that welfare money was involved.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) fired Pigott because “the client and the lawyer were not on the same page.” The agency declined interviews and plans to make future grant decisions by the committee.
Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation as it’s granted $86 million per year in welfare funds. However, 90% of those who apply are rejected. Jackson, the state’s capital and largest city, is also under a water crisis as locals are without running water due to recent flooding that strained the city’s largest water plant.