Another chapter was added on Monday to the ongoing saga involving embattled NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre and his alleged role in the largest public fraud scheme in Mississippi history.
State Auditor Shad White issued a press release, announcing he is counter-suing Favre to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncollected principal and interest on $1.1 million the former Southern Miss star paid back after acquiring from the state to have a new volleyball stadium constructed at his alma mater.
The counter-suit by the auditor comes four days after Hinds County Circuit Court Judge E. Faye Peterson denied White’s motion to dismiss the defamation lawsuit Favre filed against him as well as former NFL players turned media personalities Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe.
In the suit, the trio is accused of making defamatory statements against the former quarterback and his accused involvement in the $94 million Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) scandal. McAfee and Sharpe have since been withdrawn from the lawsuit.
White is now demanding that the former Green Bay Packer pay a total of $729,790 in unpaid principal and interest on the $1.1 million he is said to have acquired through a fraudulent transaction with former Mississippi Department of Human Services Director John Davis and Mississippi Community Education Center founder Nancy New — both of whom have been locked up for their roles in the scandal.
In 2022, the MDHS sued Favre in an attempt to recover welfare money that was used for the infamous volleyball court and to help fund an experimental concussion treatment company Favre had invested in, but the agency did not sue to recover for the amounts due in relation to the $1.1 million transfer. White’s counter-suit seeks to have Favre pony up for all money he allegedly owes the state.
“Mississippi’s Constitution and laws require that the State Auditor act to protect the taxpayers and fully collect all public funds which Mr. Favre received from Nancy New and John Davis. Mr. Favre’s meritless defamation suit provides the opportunity for the recovery of the principal and interest which Mr. Favre failed to repay,” White said in the release.
“It boggles the mind that Mr. Favre could imagine he is entitled to the equivalent of an interest-free loan of $1.1 million in taxpayer money, especially money intended for the benefit of the poor. Now that lawyers from the Office of the State Auditor are trying this case, we are going to ensure Mr. Favre is held accountable for his acts and omissions.”
White also noted that Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office is no longer representing him in the ongoing litigation due to comments the auditor made about the AG in his upcoming book Mississippi Swindle: Brett Favre and the Welfare Scandal That Shocked America.
Fitch announced earlier this year that her office would no longer be providing legal manpower for White in the welfare scandal because White “call[ed] into question the integrity of the Attorney General” in his upcoming book. Since then, White has relied on legal counsel from within his office to handle the case.