Phil Bryant helped Brett Favre get welfare money for volleyball stadium

Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant helped Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre get welfare money to help build a volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi, according to one Investigative report from Mississippi today.

The outlet reviewed text messages from 2017 and 2019 that were filed Monday in the Mississippi case for wasting welfare money. The submission was submitted by an attorney representing Nancy New, who founded the Mississippi Community Education Center that was spending tens of millions in federal welfare funds to help the state. New has pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of bribery, fraud and racketeering in what state regulators have determined was the largest public fraud case in Mississippi history, with at least $77 million by nonprofit leaders.

The transcripts allegedly show Favre, New and Bryant giving how to transfer at least $5 million to a volleyball stadium in South Mays, where Favre played college football and his daughter played volleyball at the time some texts were sent.

“If you’re going to pay me, is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” The transcript showed that Favre asked a new one in 2017. She replied that “this information was never published” and tell him The next day, “Wow, I just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He’s on board with us! We’ll get this done!”

In the July 2019 text, Bryant said new That he had just met Favre and asked if she could help him.

Favre’s lawyer denied that his client knew he had received welfare money. “Brett Favre has been such an honor throughout this whole thing,” Bud Holmes told Mississippi Today. In 2020, Favre told the outlet that he had not discussed the stadium, which is not part of the state’s lawsuit, with Bryant.

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No criminal charges were brought against Favre and Bryant, who left office in January 2020, and Bryant did not address the transcripts in a statement to Mississippi today. In it, Neo’s defense team accused him of “caring more about pre-trial propaganda than civil justice.” The proposal from New is the first direct and public accusation of wrongdoing by Bryant.

Favre last year The state paid $600,000 He had received speeches he never had as part of a $1.1 million deal he struck in 2017 and 2018 to promote an anti-poverty initiative. The state auditor reported that Initially, he paid $500,000 And in May, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, saying the interest on $1.1 million was $228,000.

States are prohibited from using funds from the Federal Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families on “brick and mortar” buildings, and efforts to circumvent federal regulations for volleyball court construction have already led to a criminal conviction.

Zack Neo, son of Nancy Neo, admitted in the April agreement to defraud the government when he engaged in a scheme “to disguise a USM construction project as a ‘lease’ as a means of circumventing the strict prohibition of a limited purpose grant against ‘brick and mortar’ construction projects in violation of Miss. Code Ann. 97-7-10.”

Favre was briefly interrogated more than two years ago by the FBI, Mississippi reported today last week. Holmes told the outlet that Favre was asked one question and he believes Favre has not been interviewed since. The Mississippi Community Education Center hired Favre Enterprises in 2017 and 2018 to make appearances to promote Family First for Mississippi, a program designed to help families in need, and Favre was not attending to those.

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In 2020, the former NFL quarterback denied he was “paid for commitments I didn’t fulfill,” saying, “I love Mississippi State and would never intentionally do anything to take away from those who need it most.”

Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country, with 20.3 percent living below the poverty line, according to the 2019 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. The The national poverty rate in the United States is 13.4 percent.

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