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Text messages link Brett Favre, $1M in welfare money, volleyball facility

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) —

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Newly revealed textual content messages present how deeply concerned a Mississippi governor was in directing greater than $1 million in welfare cash to retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre.

As a substitute of the cash going to assist low-income households in one of many nation’s poorest states, as supposed, it was funneled by a nonprofit group to Favre and spent on a brand new volleyball facility at a college that the soccer star and the governor each attended .

The texts from 2017 present Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who left workplace in 2020, was “on board” with the association. The state is suing Favre and others, alleging they misspent hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in welfare cash. The director of the nonprofit has pleaded responsible to prison fees in Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in a long time.

The texts have been in court docket paperwork filed Monday in state court docket by an lawyer for the nonprofit often called the Mississippi Neighborhood Schooling Heart. The messages between Favre and the middle’s government director, Nancy New, included references to Bryant.

The texts confirmed a dialogue between Favre and New about arranging fee from the Mississippi Division of Human Providers by the nonprofit to Favre for talking engagements, with Favre then saying he would direct the cash to the volleyball facility on the College of Southern Mississippi.

Favre performed soccer on the college in Hattiesburg earlier than going to the NFL in 1991, and his daughter began taking part in on the volleyball crew there in 2017.

In accordance with court docket paperwork, Favre texted New on Aug. 3, 2017: “When you have been to pay me is there anyway the media can discover out the place it got here from and the way a lot?”

New responded: “Nicely, we’ve by no means had that info publicized. I perceive you being uneasy about that although. Let’s examine what occurs on Monday with the dialog with among the of us at Southern. Possibly it can click on with them. Hopefully.”

Favre responded: “Okay thanks.”

The subsequent day, New texted Favre: “Wow, simply acquired off the telephone with Phil Bryant! He’s on board with us! We’ll get this completed!”

Favre responded: “Superior I wanted to listen to that for certain.”

Attorneys for Favre didn’t instantly reply to a telephone message Wednesday from The Related Press.

In a July 11 court docket submitting, New’s lawyer wrote that Bryant directed her to pay $1.1 million in welfare cash to Favre by the schooling middle for “talking at occasions, keynote talking, radio and promotional occasions, and enterprise associate growth.”

In July, a Bryant spokesperson mentioned allegations that the governor improperly spent the cash are false and that Bryant had requested the state auditor to analyze doable welfare fraud.

Bryant served two phrases as governor and couldn’t run once more in 2019 due to time period limits. He earned his bachelor’s diploma from the College of Southern Mississippi.

New and her son, Zachary New, who helped run the nonprofit, pleaded responsible in April to fees of misspending welfare cash. They await sentencing and have agreed to testify towards others.

Favre has not been charged with any prison wrongdoing.

In Might, the Mississippi Division of Human Providers filed a civil lawsuit towards Favre, three former professional wrestlers and a number of other different individuals and companies to attempt to get well hundreds of thousands of misspent welfare {dollars}. The lawsuit mentioned the defendants “squandered” greater than $20 million from the Short-term Help for Needy Households anti-poverty program.

About 1,800 Mississippi households will obtain funds from this system in 2021, in accordance with the Division of Human Providers. A household of three should have a month-to-month revenue under $680 to qualify for assist, and the present month-to-month profit for that household is $260. Funds are allowed for as much as 5 years.

In pleading responsible, Nancy and Zachary New acknowledged collaborating in spending $4 million of welfare cash for the volleyball facility.

The mom and son additionally acknowledged directing welfare cash to Prevacus Inc., a Florida-based firm that was attempting to develop a concussion drug. Favre has mentioned in interviews that he supported Prevacus.

Mississippi Auditor Shad White mentioned Favre was paid for speeches however didn’t present up. Favre has repaid the cash, however White mentioned in October that he nonetheless owed $228,000 in curiosity.

In a Fb put up when he repaid the primary $500,000, Favre mentioned he did not know the cash got here from welfare funds. He additionally mentioned his charity had offered hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to poor youngsters in Mississippi and Wisconsin.

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