NFL legend Brett Favre is reportedly wrapped up in another scandal in Mississippi.
Favre is accused of having "special access" to former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and influenced where the state’s welfare funds were delivered, including a $5 million grant for a volleyball stadium at the quarterback’s alma mater – the University of Southern Mississippi – and a pharmaceutical company, Prevacus, the quarterback backed, according to a Mississippi Today report Wednesday.
The former Green Bay Packers quarterback was also given $1.1 million. Favre had repaid the remaining $600,000 to the state last year over the money he received. But the state auditor said in October that Favre still owed $228,000 in interest.
Allegations of misspending money from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program came to light in 2020 when the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and five others were indicted. Nancy New, who was the leader of the Mississippi Community Education Center that paid Favre, was among those who were indicted in the scandal.
According to the report, Favre offered to give Bryant and New shares in the pharmaceutical company. While Favre initially denied any knowledge that the funds were being misused, Mississippi Today published text messages appearing to show just how much reach Favre had in the state’s government.
Favre allegedly told Prevacus owner Jake Vanlandingham to offer Bryant shares but didn’t want to get the governor or anyone "in trouble." New was also given shares to Prevacus and is accused of paying $2.15 million to the company and its affiliate PreSolMD in exchange for stock, according to the report. Bryant denied ever considering taking the stock.
John Davis, the state’s then-director of Department of Human Services, was also wrapped up in the scandal after Favre allegedly decided it was a good idea to possibly buy him a Ford Raptor.
Favre has not been accused of any crime and declined to comment on the report to Mississippi Today.
New and her son, Zachary, were indicted in March 2021 on wire fraud and other charges that accused them of improperly obtaining millions of dollars from the state. Each pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Davis, former wrestler Brett DiBiase, former Department of Human Services employee Latimer Smith, and former accountant for New’s nonprofit Anne McGrew were all charged in February 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.