Hall of fame quarterback Brett Favre's legal team filed a motion on Nov. 28 to dismiss a civil complaint filed against him by the Mississippi Department of Human Services because of. Roughly $77 million were misappropriated in the largest corruption case in Mississippi state history and there are currently 38 defendants being sued.
"It is apparent that MDHS has sued Favre, a Mississippi and national celebrity, in an effort to deflect responsibility for its own egregious wrongdoing in allowing $94 million of its public funds to be misspent — funds for which MDHS itself admits it was 'exclusively responsible,'" reads the filing submitted by attorney Eric Herschmann.
"There is no factual or legal basis to include Favre in this lawsuit or for the torrent of the unjustified negative publicity concerning Favre that MDHS has outrageously instigated — publicity that properly should be directed at MDHS, not Favre."
Favre has not been criminally charged but was named in the civil suit on May 9 along with may others, including three former pro wrestlers and Marcus Dupree -- a heavily sought-after football high school recruit in the early '80s.
Text messages show that during the summer of 2017, Favre began to asking then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for funding for a new volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, which is Favre's alma matter and also where his daughter played volleyball. Messages from 2019 show Favre also asking for money for an indoor football facility.
The entire welfare scandal involves money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a federal program that provides grant funds to states and territories to help families in need.
According to an audit, the former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback was paid $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018 for appearances and speeches at multiple events that he did not attend.
"Once Favre was informed that he had received TANF money, he voluntarily returned it, completing the repayment more than six months before MDHS filed this lawsuit, and leading State Auditor White to 'applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith effort to make this right and make the taxpayers and TANF families whole,'" reads the motion.
"In other words, Favre has already repaid to MDHS the only funds MDHS alleges he received. MDHS is so intent on trying to shift the blame for its own egregious misconduct that it ignores this and other dispositive facts that prove that its claims against Favre are not only meritless, but sanctionable."
Records show that Favre did give back the initial payments, but still owes $228,000 in interest as confirmed by Logan Reeves, the communications director for the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor through CNN this week.
"As far as this office is concerned, Mr. Favre still owes taxpayers in Mississippi $228,000 which represents the interest portion of the demand he received for non-performance of the contract in question," Reeves said.