(Slay News) – NFL legend Brett Favre fired back at the media today and vowed to “set the record straight” and being “unjustly smeared.”
Earlier this year, Favre was accused of being involved in the Mississippi welfare fraud case.
State auditors say the scheme funneled money to a new volleyball wellness center at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).
According to a report by Mississippi Today, the state of Mississippi is currently suing 38 people or companies in an attempt to claw back $24 million of the $77 million in federal welfare money.
Favre helped in raising money for the USM facility.
However, he has denied knowing that a $5 million grant for the volleyball facility came from a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare fund through the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC), a non-profit operated by Nancy New.
According to documents obtained by Fox News, the $5 million was procured by MCEC via a Block Grant from the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) in October 2017.
“I have been unjustly smeared in the media,” he said in a new statement,
“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, 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.
“State agencies provided the funds to Nancy New’s charity, the Mississippi Community Education Center, which then gave the funds to the University, all with the full knowledge and approval of other State agencies, including the State-wide Institute for Higher Learning, the Governor’s office, and the Attorney General’s office.
“I 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.
“After I found out the money I was paid for fundraising radio spots came from federal welfare funds, I returned all of it.”
Favre’s attorney, Eric Herschmann, said:
“Brett got paid for doing every radio spot that was requested.
“He never got paid for a ‘no show’ appearance.
“Anyone who has claimed otherwise does not know the true facts.
“Brett entered into a private agreement to record a publicity pitch for a not-for-profit.
“Like most celebrities, he didn’t want his source of income to be public.
“That’s why he asked would it become public,” he said.
“He had no idea that the payment came from TANF and had he known, he never would have accepted that money.”