Amid his involvement in a lawsuit over Mississippi’s misuse of welfare funds, former NFL quarterback Brett Favre issued a statement Tuesday.
“I’ve been unfairly hammered by the media,” Favre said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I’ve done nothing wrong and it’s past time to set the record straight.”
Favre is one of several prosecuted for diverting $20 million in state welfare funds to other areas, including building a new volleyball court at the University of Southern Mississippi. He reportedly requested money to also build a new indoor practice facility for the Southern Mississippi football team.
“Nobody ever told me and I didn’t know that the welfare funds were going to the University or to me,” Favre said. “I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise money for a wellness center. My goal has always been and always will be to improve the sports facilities at my university.”
According to his Anna Wolfe Mississippi today, text messages show Favre worked with nonprofit founder Nancy New and former welfare director John Davis to redirect $5 million in state welfare funds to build a new stadium. New has already pleaded guilty to 13 felony charges, while Davis pleaded guilty to two federal charges.
Favre has not been charged criminally for his alleged involvement in the scandal, but is involved in the state’s lawsuit.
“State agencies provided the funds to Nancy New’s charitable organization, 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 University Institute of Higher Education, Gov. office and the Attorney General’s office,” Favre said.
Favre said he believed it was legal to donate any money he received through fundraising to USM.
“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 officials,” he said. “After learning that the money I received for fundraising radio spots came from federal welfare funds, I returned it all.”
Additionally, The Athlete reported that Favre’s charity, Favre 4 Hope, donated a significant amount of money to USM at the same time. While this case is pending, SiriusXM has announced that it has discontinued Favre’s weekly radio show.
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