Brett Favre Files Motion To Dismiss Mississippi Lawsuit

Brett Favre Files Motion To Dismiss Mississippi Lawsuit

Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, one of 38 defendants sued by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), filed a motion through his attorneys Monday in court of Mississippi to dismiss the lawsuit against him and Favre Enterprises.

“It is apparent that MDHS has sued Favre, a Mississippi and national celebrity, in an effort to deflect responsibility for his own heinous misdeeds,” the motion read in part.

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According to a Mississippi state audit, at least $77 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, which originated with MDHS before flowing to nonprofits, were diverted from people poorest in America’s poorest state to the rich and powerful in Mississippi. Six people have been arrested in the case, five of whom have pleaded guilty to state charges. Favre has not been criminally charged, but was named in the civil lawsuit on May 9.

“The demand [de MDHS] is nothing more than a baseless attempt to blame Brett Favre for his own inability to oversee the welfare funds held in his trust,” Favre’s attorney, Eric Herschmann, said in an emailed statement to ESPN. ” Mr. Favre never had any control over how Mississippi spent its welfare funds. He never made false statements to anyone.”

An MDHS representative told ESPN on Monday that, “MDHS does not want to discuss this case in the media at this time, and we believe the merits of the case will stand on their own. We will leave the decision up to a court.”

Additionally, a representative from State Auditor’s office Shad White told ESPN: “It’s ridiculous to say that Mr. Favre has been singled out in any way. And as far as our office is concerned, Mr. Favre remains responsible for $228,000 in interest for breach of the contract in question.”

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Favre received $1.1 million in TANF funds for speeches White says he never made, according to the state audit and a civil lawsuit. He eventually repaid the money, but the state is looking for the amount he says he owes in interest.

Prevacus, a company developing a concussion drug in which Favre is the main investor and shareholder, also received TANF funding. The athletic foundation of Favre’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, received $5 million in welfare funds. The text messages show Favre lobbied state officials for funding for a new volleyball facility on campus during his daughter’s time on the team. The volleyball facility was not named in the civil suit, but the motion filed by Favre’s attorneys said it “served as one of the false pretenses for MDHS to attack Favre in this lawsuit.”

As such, the motion filed Monday concluded that “Favre has already returned to MDHS the only funds MDHS alleges he received” and asserted that MDHS “cannot allege that Favre ever received any portion of” the payments to Prevacus. The motion also reiterated Favre’s position that he did not know the source of the money he received. He told Fox News Digital in October that he had been “unfairly maligned” in the media.

Monday’s motion also read: “Favre, unlike [el director de MDHS John] Davis and [la fundadora del Centro de Educación Comunitaria de Mississippi Nancy] New and the other public officials, in fact did not know that the funds he received were TANF funds or subject to a legal use restriction, he had no responsibility or ability to audit or monitor, let alone control, the use of the funds from MDHS or MCEC, and did nothing wrong in connection with those funds.”

Herschmann’s statement continued: “As the State Auditor acknowledged, Mr Favre never knew welfare funds were involved in the first place. Once he found out, he returned all funds he received, six months before they MDHS will file its lawsuit. As the State Auditor has also recognized that Mr. Favre’s conduct deserves applause, not a frivolous lawsuit, we believe that after the Court reviews our motion, this case will be dismissed.”

However, according to text messages made public in the civil lawsuit, Favre asked New: “If I got paid, can the media still find out where it came from and how much?”

New has since pleaded guilty to fraud. Favre continued to press state officials for money even after then-Governor Phil Bryant told him that misuse of public funds could be illegal, the texts show.

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