A former US attorney who was previously suspected of Mississippi’s misuse of welfare funds called former NFL star Brett Favre the “driving force” behind the scandal.
“Brett Favre’s repeated demands for this grant money were certainly the driving force,” ex-US Attorney Brad Pigott told favre-mississippi-welfare-scandal-driving-force-daily-cover” data-ylk=”slk:Sports Illustrated;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “Sports Illustrated for its in-depth investigation into Favre’s role in the scandal.
Pigott was hired by the Mississippi Department of Human Services to investigate the millions of dollars of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds that the state missed.
However, Pigott was fired last July, shortly after he subpoenaed the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation for its communications with Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R).
Text messages show that Favre, a Southern Mississippi alumnus, had asked Bryant to help secure funds for a volleyball facility at the university, which would ultimately come from federal welfare money.
Millions of the state’s welfare funds would also be directed to a Favre-backed pharmaceutical company known as Prevacus. In total, about $8.3 million in TANF funds went toward Favre’s projects, according to Sports Illustrated.
“None of these people seemed to give a hoot about the actual purpose of the TANF money,” added Pigott of those involved in the scandal. “Much of the sloppiness can be traced to that. They just didn’t take it seriously. It wasn’t important to them.”
Favre’s role in the scandal was first uncovered by state news outlet Mississippi Today, which earlier this month mississippi-today-ridgeland-miss” data-ylk=”slk:won a Pulitzer Prize;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation.