Cell phone texts published Wednesday reveal that former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant helped former NFL quarterback Brett Favre obtain federal welfare money for a new volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The texts, filed in the state’s civil suit over the alleged scheme and first reported by Mississippi Today’s Anna Wolfe, reportedly reveal that Bryant —the state’s Republican governor from 2012 to 2020, Favre and other officials worked to direct “at least $5 million” of money intended for the state’s poorest residents toward the center instead.
NBC News reported earlier this month that Favre received $1.1 million of welfare funds in 2017 and 2018 for “motivational speeches” he never made and was asked by the state auditor to give the money back with interest.
The texts were filed by an attorney who represents Nancy New, a nonprofit founder who pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts earlier this year for her role in the scandal.
Read the texts below:
Brett Favre: Will the media find out that we're using welfare funds intended to help the poorest residents of America's poorest state to build a volleyball center?
— Adam Ganucheau (@GanucheauAdam) September 13, 2022