Brett Favre enjoyed a remarkable NFL career, one that saw him reach Hall of Fame status. Known as a gamer and gunslinger, Favre played with reckless abandon, always leaving it all on the field. Following retirement, Favre has been pretty quiet, and for the most part out of the limelight. Arguably the greatest athlete to come out of Mississippi not named Jerry Rice or Walter Payton, Favre is beloved in his home state.
In 2020 Favre and former Gov. Phil Bryant’s names came up in a $94 million statewide welfare fraud scheme. State lawyer Brad Pigott set out to recoup $24 million of the $94 million lost. The suit reportedly seeks to recoup over $3 million from Favre and Favre Enterprises. Amidst the investigation, Pigott says he was fired on July 22 without probable cause.
Here’s what he told he told Mississippi Today last week.
“All I did and I believe all that caused me to be terminated from representing the department or having anything to do with the litigation was to try to get the truth about all of that,” said Pigott. “People are going to jail over this, at least the state should be willing to find out the truth of what happened.”
“I am sure they can find a loyal Republican lawyer to do the work.”
Mississippi fired the attorney who was working to recoup millions in misspent taxpayer funds — money that was supposed to help our poorest residents.
Just a week ago, that attorney subpoenaed records of our former governor & an NFL legend.https://t.co/SS6xghNuMT
— Adam Ganucheau (@GanucheauAdam) July 23, 2022
On Friday, Piggot told The New York Times this:
“I believe I was fired as a result of a pattern of orders from the Mississippi governor’s office concerning protecting an entity, called the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation, from any responsibility in this matter.”
Piggot is a Democrat who worked under current Republican Gov. Tate Reeves. From the sound of it, Piggot was doing too good a job and they relieved him of his duties. Was it to protect the state’s native son in Favre? Or was it because Bryant used Favre?
Favre Came Under Investigation With Former Governor When Money Got Misdirected
In 2018, after the Mississippi Department of Human Services received a lump sum of money, more than half of the money was directed by then-Gov. Bryant’s office and given to organizations and ultimately in large sums to individuals, one of those individuals being Brett Favre.
Mississippi fires lawyer who was looking into Brett Favre's potential involvement in a $5 million payment from welfare funds for the building of a volleyball stadium at his alma mater. https://t.co/PBUUmtijic
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 24, 2022
A letter sent by Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson to the U.S. Department of Justice read:
“In 2018, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) received $135 million in TANF dollars, yet $77 million of those dollars were misdirected due to the influence of the governor’s office. Governor Phil Bryant has clearly taken actions consistent with ensuring Mississippi’s poorest citizens are denied welfare funds meant to benefit their households.”
There was a $5 million check written in 2018 to fund a volleyball facility at Favre’s alma mater, Southern Mississippi. The money was received from a still unfolding welfare fraud scheme, as well as another $1.1 million Favre reportedly received for speaking engagements he never showed up for. While Favre repaid the engagement funds, he and other prominent Mississippi figures are still under investigation for the volleyball money.
Favre Isn’t Unknown To Scandal
In 2010, Favre was at the center of an investigation involving Jets host Jenn Sterger, who says she unwillingly received text messages, voicemails and even lewd pics from the former NFL great.
In 2011, Favre settled a lawsuit against two former Jets massage therapists who alleged he sent them racy text messages.
While Favre was a great football player, he seems to have a very checkered, off-the-field life and this latest incident puts the proverbial cherry on top. To be part of something designed to make sure those truly in need didn’t receive the financial support is the lowest of lows. The question that still remains is whether or not Favre was involved knowingly or was he blindsided?
Still more to come on this investigation, which seems to be taking forever to be settled.