Governor vows to recover ‘every dollar’ in alleged Miss. welfare scheme

(NewsNation) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves vowed to recover “every single dollar” in an alleged welfare scheme in which court filings show former NFL quarterback Brett Favre may have been implicated.

Text messages newly revealed Monday indicate Favre and former Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant communicated about an effort to use the state’s welfare funds to help build a new volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The texts were filed in the state of Mississippi’s civil lawsuit over the scandal.

“As the case continues and as more revelations come forward, we’re going to turn over every single rock to make sure we recover as many dollars as we possibly can on behalf of the state,” Reeves said in an interview with Jackson, Mississippi, TV station WLBT.

An attorney representing the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC), whose founder, Nancy New, previously pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of bribery, fraud and racketeering for her role in the welfare scheme, filed the text messages into court records. 

The reported conversations took place from 2017 to 2019, when Favre’s daughter was on Southern Mississippi’s volleyball team. Favre, who spent most of his 20-year NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, had played football at the university.

Weighing in Sunday on “NewsNation Prime,” Andrew Brandt, executive director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, said the texts are “not a good look” for Favre. But Brandt, who previously worked as an executive for the Green Bay Packers, said he never saw any kind of “malfeasance” by Favre during his time in the league.

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“I think we wait and see what comes out of this, and we wait to see what Brett says about this,” Brandt said.

Favre, who along with Bryant hasn’t been criminally charged in the scandal, had previously told the nonprofit news organization in 2020 that he did not have any contact with Bryant about his alma mater’s volleyball center.