Brett Favre Should Remain In Civil Welfare Lawsuit, State of Mississippi Says

Adam WellsMarch 18, 2023

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Former NFL player Brett Favre looks on prior to Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Mississippi Department of Human Services says Brett Favre should remain in the civil lawsuit seeking to recover misspent welfare funds in a public corruption case.

Per Emily Wagster Pettus of the Associated Press, the statement made this week was in response to Favre's attorneys filing a request on his behalf to be removed from the lawsuit.

Per Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today, the Department of Human Services filed a $24 million civil lawsuit in May 2022 against 38 individuals or entities for using welfare funds that were meant to help address poverty in Mississippi.

Favre was one of several athletes named in the lawsuit. Former NFL running back Marcus Dupree, former linebacker Paul Lacoste and retired WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase Sr. were among the others.

Several people have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the misspending, including Christi Webb, former head of non-profit organization Family Resource Center; John Davis, former executive director of Mississippi Department of Human Services; and Nancy New and Zachary New, a mother-son duo who ran a non-profit organization and education company.

No charges have been brought against Favre at this point. He has already filed multiple motions to be removed from the lawsuit.

Favre's attorneys wrote in the most recent motion the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) is suing their client "to try to deflect responsibility for its own egregious wrongdoing in allowing tens of millions of dollars of its public funds to be misspent–funds for which MDHS itself admits it was 'exclusively responsible.'"

According to Wagster Pettus, an attorney for the state department responded to Favre's attorneys by saying they failed to provide any solid legal argument to remove their client from the lawsuit.

"Favre's submission is not a motion to dismiss; it is a long press release," Kaytie Pickett wrote in court papers. "The court should disregard Favre's diatribe."

Last September, Wolfe noted text messages entered into the civil lawsuit showed former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant worked with Favre and others to funnel at least $5 million in state welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at Mississippi State when Favre's daughter was a player on the team.

According to Wolfe, Favre "received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility."

Wagster Pettus noted $1.7 million in welfare funds were put toward development of a concussion drug treatment from a company in which Favre was an investor.

Favre has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement to Fox News Digital in October he is being "unjustly smeared in the media."

A three-time NFL MVP, Favre played 20 seasons in the league from 1991 to 2010. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.