Oct 11, 2022 - Sports

Favre denies wrongdoing, media "smeared" him in Mississippi welfare scandal

Brett Favre, former quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, speaks to a reporter.

Brett Favre, former quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, speaks to a reporter. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NFL legend Brett Favre denied any wrongdoing in response to his alleged involvement with an ongoing Mississippi welfare investigation, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: The former Green Bay Packers quarterback said he has been "smeared" by the media in response to Mississippi's historic public corruption case, where funds meant for the state's poorest citizens was misspent.

  • Some of the funds were funneled into the construction of a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, Favre's alma mater.

What he said: "I have been unjustly smeared in the media," Favre said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "I have done nothing wrong, and it is past time to set the record straight.

  • "No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me. I tried to help my alma mater USM [University of Southern Mississippi], a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university."

Catch up quick: Mississippi reportedly diverted millions of anti-poverty money to the University of Southern Mississippi, Axios' Mike Allen writes.

  • Text messages show Favre called for funding for a volleyball arena when his daughter played on the school's volleyball team, according to ESPN.
  • In May, the Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a civil lawsuit against Favre and others to recover the funds, saying that more than $20 million of public money was squandered.
  • Favre said in the statement Tuesday that he "was told that the legal work to ensure that these funds could be accepted by the university was done by State attorneys and State employees."

Worth noting: Eric Herschmann, a top White House lawyer to President Trump, is the lead counsel for Favre. Herschmann said Favre "had no idea that welfare funds were being used or that others were involved in illegal conduct."

  • "I only agreed to represent Brett Favre after I did my independent due diligence and was convinced that he did nothing wrong," Herschmann said.

Go deeper: Scoop: Trump lawyer Eric Herschmann to represent Brett Favre

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