When we last checked in with Brett Favre, he was attempting to fend off allegations that he knowingly played a role in diverting funds from Mississippi’s welfare fund to his pet project, a volleyball court at his alma mater where (surprise!) his daughter played on the team. In addition to (maybe) paying back his misbegotten gains — we’ll get to that in a minute — Favre has apparently decided the best way to woo the public back to his side is to (checks notes) sue sports commentators Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe, along with Mississippi Auditor Shad White, for defamation. The suits against McAfee and Sharpe were settled and dismissed, respectively, though Favre is appealing the dismissal of his suit against Sharpe. To date, Favre has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime.
Now, White has hit back at Favre, filing a counterclaim to Favre’s defamation suit alleging that the HOF quarterback still owes that state nearly three quarters of a million dollars, and asking a court to order Favre to pay it back. On Monday, White filed documents responding to Favre’s claims of defamation, and also set forth his own claim that Favre continues to owe Mississippi more than $430,000 in principal and nearly $300,000 in interest accrued since the state first demanded repayment from the quarterback.
There isn’t much we didn’t know in White’s filings, but there are some pretty damning allegations, like “Favre realized that funneling the restricted [welfare] funds to the volleyball building construction project through him might be a way to “solve the [restrictions on the money being spent on a brick and mortar structure] problem.” The suit further alleges, “As of July 31, 2017, Favre knew that the restricted funds were funds intended to help the poor and not to construct volleyball buildings.” White also alleges that “Favre demanded secrecy . . . to keep the transfers [of welfare funds] to him secret.” Favre allegedly wrote to one MI state official, “So if we keep confidential where the money came from as well as the amount I think this is gonna work.”
Not a great look, Brett.
It doesn’t appear that there is a whole lot Favre can refute here, as White liberally includes Favre’s text messages (complete with odd sentence structure and inappropriately placed emojis) and communications with state officials throughout his complaint. At the heart of the matter, Favre claims that he has repaid the State of Mississippi the $1.1 million in funds — almost four percent of total grant funds which were supposed to benefit poor children and their families, according to the counterclaim. But White claims that, in May of 2020, Favre “admitted that he was personally responsible” and promised to repay Mississippi “in the coming months.” Based on Favre’s statements, White alleges that the state forbore on collection efforts, but the two sides are now at an impasse, with Favre refusing to pay any additional funds, while White cites state law that he claims require him to charge interest from the dates the funds were “improperly withheld.”
The litigation of the case will undoubtedly hinge on determining what date the funds were “improperly withheld” from, and both sides will submit their own math about how much, if anything, Favre still owes the State. But the biggest takeaway from reading the legal documents is that Favre still doesn’t appear to believe he did anything wrong and, rather than doing his best to make the citizens of Mississippi whole, he’s instead suing anyone who accuses him of “stealing” welfare funds. Favre has also refused to repay any additional funds to the state, prompting White to comment, “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.” Indeed. It’s one thing to be Mississippi’s favorite NFL son (though, that should actually be Walter Payton). It’s quite another to (allegedly) get state officials to pay for your kid’s volleyball facility with money intended for poor kids.
According to multiple sites, Favre’s net worth in 2023 is believed to be around $100 million dollars. In today’s world of billionaire sports owners, that’s not a huge sum, but for the rest of us, it’s definitely Scrooge-McDuck-swimming-in-piles-of-gold-coins money. More than enough money to, say, fund a paltry $5 million volleyball facility in Southern Mississippi. That was, apparently, what Favre initially intended to do — fund the entire project himself. Why Favre changed his mind we may never know, but his actions to date, refusing to pay interest on funds that should have gone to fund Mississippi’s poorest residents, and stomping his feet and sending his lawyer after anyone who utters a harsh word about him, doesn’t evidence much contrition on Favre’s part. Instead of merely keeping his head down and immediately repaying the state upon learning the true intention for the funds he received, which is what any decent person would do upon learning they took part in diverting welfare funds for a college sports arena. Instead, Favre is potentially going to wind up paying a fortune in legal fees (to date, he hasn’t recovered any money in his three defamation suits) and still owe the state nearly $750,000 in principal and interest.
As for Favre’s reputation? That’s long gone.
Original source here
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