JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Retired NFL player Brett Favre missed a deadline to pay $228,000 in interest on welfare money he was paid for a public speaking contract he did not fulfill, the Mississippi state auditor said Tuesday.
Auditor Shad White said he is turning the matter over to the state attorney general's office, a month after sending a demand letter to Favre. White said the attorney general is in charge of enforcing unmet auditor's demands.
“My understanding is the AG and the Department of Human Services have given authority to a private attorney to recoup the misspent money,” White wrote on Twitter. “We have been in contact with that attorney and will provide him any information he needs.”
Favre is not facing criminal charges, but the leader of the organization that paid him is awaiting trial in one of Mississippi’s largest embezzlement cases.
The Associated Press left a phone message for Favre at his Mississippi business office Tuesday evening. Favre did not immediately respond to that, and he did not immediately respond to White on Twitter.
Favre and White feuded Oct. 29 over the auditor saying Favre failed to make speeches after being paid by welfare money. The Twitter spat happened days after Favre repaid $600,000 to the state — the last portion of the $1.1 million that the auditor said Favre received from a nonprofit organization that used money intended to help needy people in one of the poorest states in the U.S. The auditor said Favre still owes $228,000 in interest.
“Of course the money was returned because I would never knowingly take funds meant to help our neighbors in need, but for Shad White to continue to push out this lie that the money was for no-show events is something I cannot stay silent about,” Favre wrote.
The former Green Bay Packers quarterback, who lives in Mississippi, wrote that he made commercials for which he was paid by a nonprofit organization. White tweeted that Favre’s contract required speeches and a radio ad.
“The CPA for Favre Enterprises confirmed this was your contract,” White replied to Favre. “You did not give the speeches. You have acknowledged this in statements to my agents.”
Allegations of misspending of money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program came to light in early 2020 when the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and five other people were indicted. Among them is Nancy New, who was leader of Mississippi Community Education Center, the organization that paid Favre.
White said in May 2020 that Favre had repaid $500,000 of the $1.1 million in welfare money. In a Facebook post when he repaid that portion, Favre said his charity had provided millions of dollars to poor children in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus.