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NFL Hall of Famer, Brett Favre, is at the center of an over $70 million Mississippi welfare scandal that saw the former quarterback paid over $1 million for speeches he never gave.
In newly revealed information, Favre was questioned by the FBI after he received payments totaling $1.1 million from Mississippi in 2017 and 2018 that were marked for “motivational speeches.” The problem is that $1.1 million was taken directly from Mississippi’s welfare funds, and Favre never made those speeches.
Of the total $77 million in Mississippi’s welfare funds, a portion went to paying Favre, building a new volleyball court at Southern Mississippi University (where Favre played college football and his daughter is on the volleyball team), along with grant money given to a Florida-based drug company where Favre was the biggest shareholder.
EXCLUSIVE: The FBI questioned NFL hall-of-fame quarterback Brett Favre in connection with a $70 million Mississippi welfare scandal. The nation's poorest state used child welfare money to pay Favre for speeches he never made. https://t.co/QZfqvPKuhN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 1, 2022
Mississippi’s state auditor forced Favre to return the money, with interest, but so far Favre has only repaid the $1.1 million, and not the $228,000 in interest.
Favre’s lawyer claims that Favre had no idea the money was coming from the welfare fund, and denied any wrongdoing.
Favre tweeted back in October 2021 that he would “never accept money for no-show appearances” and claimed that Mississippi auditor, Shad White, was pushing a lie.
As I have said before, I would never accept money for no-show appearances, as the state of Mississippi auditor, @ShadWhite, claims.
— Brett Favre (@BrettFavre) October 29, 2021
Mississippi In The Midst Of Water Crisis
The news of Favre’s investigation by the FBI comes as hundreds of thousands in Jackson, Mississippi are in the middle of the state’s worst water crisis.
The 150,000 residents of Jackson, Mississippi face a humanitarian crisis as access to clean water in the city disappears. For more than a month, Jacksonians have suffered under a local advisory to boil their tap water before using it. Now, as record flooding shuts down Jackson’s main water pump, residents of this largely Black city are at risk of losing water access altogether.
Mississippi’s Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R) said the city’s water and sewer system is “on the brink of collapsing.” Republican Governor Tate Reeves echoed Hosemann’s concern, saying the pump failure means the city won’t be able “to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets” or meet other critical needs.
As a result of the water loss, all public schools in the city have moved to virtual learning “indefinitely.”
On Wednesday, President Biden declared a state of emergency in Mississippi and directed FEMA, EPA, and the Army Corps to work with the state to get clean water to residents.
This morning, I spoke with Mayor Lumumba regarding the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi.
I’ve declared a state of emergency and FEMA, EPA, and the Army Corps are coordinating with the state to get clean and safe water to families. pic.twitter.com/xV6bcZK2TU
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 31, 2022