Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant helped Hall of Fame running back Brett Favre get philanthropic money to help build a volleyball center at the University of Southern Mississippi. Mississippi Today investigative report.

The outlet reviewed the text messages filed Monday in the Mississippi lawsuit against the 2017 and 2019 misappropriation of charitable funds. The application was filed by an attorney on behalf of Nancy New, who founded the Mississippi Center for Community Education, which was slated to receive tens of millions in federal grant funding to help the state. New pleaded guilty to 13 felony counts of bribery, fraud and embezzlement in what state auditors determined was the largest public fraud case in Mississippi history, with at least $77 million misappropriated by nonprofit leaders.

The texts show how Favre, New and Bryant are moving at least $5 million for a volleyball stadium at Southern Miss, where Favre was playing college football and his daughter was playing volleyball when some of the texts were sent.

“If you pay me, can you find out where the media came from and how much?” In 2017, an article revealed that Favre asked Addis. “We have never disclosed this information,” she replied. He told him. The next day, he said, “Wow, we just got off the phone with Phil Bryant! He’s on board with us! We will do this! “

In a July 2019 article, Bryant told the New. He asks if he’s in touch with Favre and if she can help him.

Favre’s attorney said he knew his client had received charity money. “Brett Favre was honored by all of this,” Bud Holmes told Mississippi Today. In the year In 2020, Favre told the newspaper that he had not discussed the stadium, which was not part of the state’s lawsuit, with Bryant.

Favre and Bryant, who resigned in January 2020, have not been charged with a crime, and Bryant did not address the articles in a statement to Mississippi Today. In it, he accused New’s defense team of being “more concerned with pre-publicity than with civil justice.” New’s complaint is the defendants’ first and most public allegation of wrongdoing by Bryant.

Favre last year He paid the state $600,000. In the year He received the unprecedented talks as part of a $1.1 million deal in 2017 and 2018 to help fight poverty. The regional auditor reported that First paid $500,000. And in May, the Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a lawsuit against Favre, charging $228,000 in interest on the $1.1 million.

States are prohibited from using funds from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families on “brick and mortar” buildings, and efforts to pass federal laws to build volleyball stadiums have already been criminally prosecuted.

Zach New, son of Nancy New; He accepted a plea deal in April In a scheme to defraud the government “to disguise the USM construction project as a ‘lease’ in violation of Miss. Code Ann. to circumvent the strict prohibition on ‘brick and mortar’ construction projects. 97-7-10.”

Favre was briefly questioned by the FBI two years ago. Mississippi Today reported last week. Holmes admitted that Favre was asked one question and that Favre has not been interviewed since. The Mississippi Community Education Center hired Favre Enterprises in 2017 and 2018 to promote Families First, a program designed to help Mississippi families in need, and Favre was no exception.

In the year In 2020, the former NFL quarterback said he “received money from unfulfilled obligations,” adding, “I love Mississippi and I would do nothing to take it from people who need it most.”

According to the US Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 20.3 percent living below the poverty line. of America’s national poverty rate is 13.4 percent..

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