FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. Favre is dismissing his lawsuit against sportscaster Pat McAfee after McAfee publicly apologized for his previous on-air statements that Favre had been “stealing from poor people in Mississippi” in a welfare misspending case. Favre and McAfee both announced the settlement Thursday, May 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
The NFL Hall of Famer will remain a defendant in the civil suit filed by Mississippi Department of Human Services seeking to recoup misused welfare money.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel ruled that they were denying Brett Favre’s appeal to be removed as a defendant from a civil lawsuit involving the misuse of over $90 million in TANF funds through the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).
The panel consisted of Mississippi Supreme Court Presiding Justice James Kitchens, Associate Justice Josiah Coleman and Associate Justice James Maxwell.
In the original filing, Favre’s attorneys argued that he was kept in the lawsuit due to the publicity his name generates. They further argued that MDHS officials and others, such as Nancy New who has plead guilty to criminal charges, “concocted and carried out the scheme” in order to use the welfare funds toward a volleyball center that Favre was hoping to have built at the University of Southern Mississippi. The NFL Hall of Famer’s counsel asserts that Favre was not part of the scheme.
“It is apparent from the face of the complaint that MDHS is far more culpable than Favre is,” wrote Favre’s attorney’s in the appeal.
However, MDHS maintains that Favre received over $1 million in funds for “speeches he never made.” While state attorneys noted that Favre has repaid those funds, they say Favre “has neither repaid the $1.7 million he arranged for his drug company, Prevacus, to receive in exchange for giving Nancy New stock, nor the $5 million he orchestrated the USM Athletic Department to receive for a volleyball facility.”
Attorneys for MSDH said Favre’s petition did not meet the criteria for interlocutory review which is why it was denied in trial court in April by Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson.
“MDHS respectfully asks that his petition be denied,” the MDHS counsel wrote.
The retired quarterback will remain as a defendant in the civil lawsuit. No criminal charges have been brough against Favre.