Texts: Favre Also Seeked Social Fund For Football Facility Boston News Weather Sports

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare funds on Brett Favre’s pet project, a varsity volleyball arena, The retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get extra money from the state welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show.

Then-governor, Republican Phil Bryant, wrote in 2019 with Favre wanting to build an indoor practice facility for the University of Southern Mississippi football team. Bryant told him federal funds for children and low-income adults are “strictly controlled” and “improper use could result in a violation of federal law.”

Text messages between Bryant and Favre are included in court documents filed by Bryant’s attorneys on Friday, which are said to show that the governor was willing to help Favre raise private money for the volleyball facility starting in 2017 and had not for more than two years knew that social funds went to the project.

Mississippi’s largest public corruption case to date has implicated several people, including a pro wrestler whose drug rehabilitation was funded with Social Security funds.

The state submitted one civil action against Favre and others to recover more than $20 million in misappropriated welfare funds earmarked to help those in need in one of the poorest states in the country. Bryant and Favre are not facing criminal charges, and Bryant is not among those named in the state’s civil lawsuit.

A former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, John Davis, pleaded guilty Thursday on federal and state crimes for conspiracy to embezzle welfare funds. Davis was appointed by Bryant in February 2016 and fired by him in July 2019. Davis has agreed to testify against others.

Attorneys for a nonprofit being sued, the Mississippi Community Education Center, sent a subpoena to Bryant in late July, requesting communications between the former governor and another person about the volleyball arena.

The nonprofit was led by Nancy New and her son, Zachary New, who died in April pleaded guilty to charges the misuse of social funds. They also agreed to testify against others.

In Friday’s court filing, Bryant declined to produce documents unless a protective order was available to prevent the public release of the content.

“This motion was brought in bad faith and solely to anger, embarrass and subdue Governor Bryant for refusing to ignore the crimes committed by New and Davis,” Bryant’s attorneys wrote.

Favre’s request for money from the Mississippi Department of Humans Services to fund the football facility went unanswered. Favre filed the application on July 28, 2019, while trying unsuccessfully to recruit the son of another retired NFL player, Deion Sanders, to the University of Hattiesburg.

Favre played football at the University of Southern Mississippi before joining the NFL in 1991. Bryant and New are also alumni, and Favre wrote to Bryant that an indoor practice facility would bring “instant credibility” to the football program.

Favre’s daughter started playing volleyball at university in 2017. The new court filings said Bryant first learned that Favre was trying to raise money for a volleyball arena on April 20, 2017, when Favre texted the governor to say that he and his wife Deanna were building the Attachment.

“I kind of need your leverage to get donations and/or sponsorships,” Favre Bryant texted. “Obviously, Southern doesn’t have any money, so I’m rushing to raise it.”

According to the documents, Bryant replied a few hours later: “Of course I’m fully involved on the volleyball court. …One thing I can do is raise money.’”

In July 2017, Favre Bryant texted again about the volleyball facility and asked, “If we can find a contractor who’ll say, ‘Hey, instead of giving you money I’ll build for free!!’ Maybe you know someone.”

Bryant replied that he was “in everywhere”.

“It’s important to note that in those early text messages, Favre never mentioned using public funds, much less using TANF funds, to build the facility,” Bryant’s attorneys wrote Friday. “At this point, discussions between Favre and Gov. Bryant were focused on private donations and corporate sponsorships.”

In July 2017, court records show that Davis and Nancy New met to use welfare funds to fund the volleyball arena, with Davis pledging $4 million. New’s nonprofit later paid Favre $1.1 million for speaking engagements to help him pay for the arena. Favre never made the speeches and later repaid the money, though he failed to repay $228,000 in interest.

Bryant’s attorneys wrote that the governor first learned that Human Services was involved in funding the volleyball arena in a text message he received from Favre on July 16, 2019. “I want you to know how much I love Nancy New and John Davis,” Favre wrote. “What they have done for me and Southern Miss is incredible.”

Favre wrote that there were plans to host workshops and youth clinics at the volleyball facility with a program led by Nancy New.

“Plus I paid for 3/4 of the Vball facility and the rest was a joint project with her and John that saved me $1.8million,” wrote Favre Bryant. “I was informed today that she may not be able to fund her part. Me and we need your help urgently, Governor, and I’m sorry to even bring it up.”

Bryant’s attorneys wrote, “Favre has launched a campaign to aggressively lobby the governor into helping him pay off the USM Volleyball Center’s debt.” committed more than $1.8 million to the project.

Bryant and Favre met with the new Department of Human Services director, retired FBI agent Christopher Freeze, on Sept. 4, 2019, according to Friday’s court documents. Favre texted Bryant after the meeting: “We obviously need your help badly and time is against us.” Favre also mentioned that the volleyball facility could be named after Bryant, who was in his final months as governor.

Bryant replied: “We will get there. That was a great meeting. But we have to obey the law. I’m too old for federal prison.” He added a smiling emoji wearing sunglasses.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news straight to your inbox

https://whdh.com/news/texts-favre-also-sought-welfare-money-for-football-facility/ Texts: Favre Also Seeked Social Fund For Football Facility Boston News Weather Sports

Nate Jones

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button