Brett Favre Has Not Paid $600K for Speaking Events Back to State of Mississippi

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 12, 2021

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre speaks with reporters about his support for Willowood Developmental Center, a facility that provides training and assistance for special needs students, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 in Jackson, Miss. Favre, whose mother has a degree in special education, said he is a few hours short of graduating from Southern Mississippi and is being encouraged by his mother to obtain his degree. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Former NFL quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre's company, Favre Enterprises Inc., was paid $1.1 million by the Mississippi Community Education Center to promote Families First for Mississippi through numerous speeches.

Those speeches were never made, and Favre paid back $500,000 after news first broke of the reneged agreement in May 2020.

However, Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today reported last Thursday that Favre has not paid back the remaining $600,000 to the state.

On Tuesday, the state confirmed on the record to the Associated Press that $600,000 of the original $1.1 million paid to Favre has not been returned.

"After the initial media dustup, he stroked a check for $500 grand and gave a commitment, a voluntary commitment, to repay the rest in the coming months," Logan Reeves, a spokesman for Mississippi Auditor Shad White, told The Associated Press.

"And then, that didn't happen."

News about the initial $1.1 million given to Favre broke in May 2020, with the AP reporting then as well.

"Favre's effort to repay the money came two days after White released an audit of spending by the Mississippi Department of Human Services that showed Favre had been paid by the Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit group whose former leader has been indicted in a welfare embezzlement scheme.

"Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the United States, and the Community Education Center had contracts with Human Services to spend money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, also known as TANF."

As Wolfe noted, the Mississippi Community Education Center is "a nonprofit at the center of what officials call the largest public embezzlement scheme in state history." Families First for Mississippi is a "federally-funded anti-poverty initiative."

Per the AP, Favre was supposed to speak as part of "at least" three events.

Favre paid nearly half the money back and made a statement on Twitter last year:

Brett Favre @BrettFavre

2/4 I have never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet. To reiterate Auditors White’s statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi.

Brett Favre @BrettFavre

4/4 It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.

Per the AP, the $1.1 million spent was part of "part of $94 million in welfare spending that was 'questioned' by auditors who said they either saw clear misspending or could not verify whether money was lawfully spent."

Favre was paid $500,000 in Dec. 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018.

As Wolfe noted, Favre has not been accused of a crime, and he has not received any demand to pay back the money.

Favre, 51, was born and raised in Mississippi, where he lives today. He played in the NFL from 1991-2010, winning three NFL MVP awards and one Super Bowl.

Favre is best known for his 16 seasons calling signals for the Green Bay Packers from 1992-2007. He made 11 Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro three times.