Brett Favre will not be removed from civil lawsuit stemming from Mississippi welfare funds misuse scandal

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The Mississippi Supreme Court has decided Brett Favre will not be removed as a defendant in a civil lawsuit over misspent welfare money in what has become the largest corruption case in state history. Favre has been linked to the welfare scandal involving the misappropriation of roughly $77 million that was supposed to be used to help families in need. The Hall of Fame quarterback has not been criminally charged, but he is one of 47 defendants in the current lawsuit.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services originally filed a lawsuit in May 2022 and Favre sought to it dismissed in November. The state revised its complaint against him in December, and he once again filed papers for dismissal in February. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Faye Peterson denied the motion in April, but Favre’s legal team asked the Supreme Court to overturn Peterson’s decision in May. A panel of three justices denied Favre’s appeal in a brief ruling on Wednesday.

His lawyers have argued that the MDHS has been vilifying Favre in order to distract from their own misdeeds, and that this has resulted in unwarranted damage to the retired quarterback’s reputation. Court filings, tax records and text messages have shown Favre’s complicated involvement.

In the summer of 2017, Favre started asking then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for funding for a new volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, which is his alma mater as well as the school where his daughter played volleyball. Two years later, Favre was also talking about getting a new indoor football facility at Southern Miss.

104-page audit published in April 2020 showed two separate payments totaling $1.1 million were given to Favre Enterprises for engagements Favre was scheduled to make but received the money without actually attending. Throughout the entire saga, he has denied knowing that money he was given for different projects was welfare money. 

Others involved have already pleaded guilty, including retired professional wrestler Brett DiBiase, former MDHS Executive Director John Davis, and Mississippi Community Education Center founder Nancy New along with her son, Zach.

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