SMS link Favre, welfare allowance, volleyball court


The Mississippi governor was “on board” in 2017 with a plan for a nonprofit group to pay Brett Favre more than $1 million in welfare funds so the retired NFL quarterback can fund a varsity volleyball facility, according to a text News Between Favre and the director of the non-profit organization.

Court documents filed Monday by a lawyer for the Mississippi Community Education Center contain text messages between Favre and the center’s Executive Director Nancy New that contain references to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who left office in 2020.

Nancy New and her son Zachary New, who helped run the nonprofit, pleaded guilty in April to squandering welfare funds intended to help some of the poorest people in the country. Awaiting sentencing, they have agreed to testify against others in Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in decades.

In May, the Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a civil lawsuit against Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other individuals and companies to try to recover millions of misinvested welfare dollars. The lawsuit said the defendants “wasted” more than $20 million from the anti-poverty program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Nancy and Zachary New pleaded guilty and admitted taking part in spending $4 million in welfare funds on a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The mother and son also admitted funneling welfare funds to Prevacus Inc., a Florida-based company trying to develop a concussion drug. Favre has said in interviews that he supports Prevacus.

The filing with a Mississippi state court involved Favre and Nancy New exchanging text messages about arranging payment from the Mississippi Department of Human Services through the nonprofit to Favre for speaking engagements, with Favre then saying he would forward the money to the volleyball facility .

Favre played football at the University of Southern Mississippi before joining the NFL in 1991, and his daughter started playing on the volleyball team there in 2017.

According to court documents, Favre Nancy New wrote on August 3, 2017, “If you paid me, can the media still find out where and how much?”

Nancy New replied: “No, we never released this information. However, I understand that you are uncomfortable about this. Let’s see what happens Monday with the conversation with some people from Southern. Maybe it will click for them. Hopefully. “

Favre replied: “Ok thanks.”

The next day, Nancy wrote to New Favre: “Wow, just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He’s on board with us! We will sort it out!”

Favre replied: “Great, I had to hear that.”

Bryant, a Republican, served two terms and governor and was unable to run again in 2019 due to term limits. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In a July 11 court filing, Nancy New’s attorney wrote that Bryant directed her to pay Favre $1.1 million in welfare payments through the Mississippi Community Education Center because she was “at events, keynotes, radio and promotional events and the development of business partners”. A Bryant spokesman said in July the allegations against the former governor were false and that Bryant had asked the state auditor to investigate possible welfare fraud.

Favre has not been charged with any criminal misconduct. Mississippi auditor Shad White said Favre was paid to speak but did not appear. Favre repaid the money, but White said in October that Favre still owed $228,000 in interest.

In a Facebook post as he repaid the first $500,000, Favre said he was unaware that the money he received came from social funds. He also said his charity has given millions of dollars to poor children in Mississippi and Wisconsin.