February 29, 2024
Funds

State Auditor White counter-sues Brett Favre for TANF funds


JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) – A new chapter has been written in the ongoing Brett Favre-TANF saga.

On Monday, State Auditor Shad White’s office counter-sued Favre for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to his office.

The State Auditor’s Office said the counter-claim looks to recover $437,000 in unpaid principal and $292,790 in unpaid interest.

According to the statement released by White’s office, Favre sued him last February for defamation for statements White made about Mississippi’s largest welfare scandal.

White’s attorneys filed a counter-claim Monday in the same defamation suit, demanding Favre pay back Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds with interest.

“Mississippi’s Constitution and laws require that the State Auditor act to protect the taxpayers and fully collect all public funds which Mr. Favre received from Nance New and John Davis,” said White in the statement. “Mr. Favre’s meritless defamation suit provides the opportunity for the recovery of the principal and interest which Mr. Favre failed to repay.”

It was mentioned in the State Auditor’s Office statement that Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office was originally representing White in the case. But on Jan. 5, 2024, the AG’s Office announced they would no longer represent White in the case because White “call[ed] into question the integrity of the Attorney General” in White’s upcoming book. At this time, attorneys at the State Auditor’s Office have been handling the case.

The statement said the counter-claim filed Monday asks the court to require Favre to repay the principal and interest he owes on $1.1 million in welfare funds after the State Auditor’s Office found the illegal transfers to Favre during its initial investigation and demanded Favre repay the amount, plus interest, in 2021. Favre admitted his fault, according to the statement, but failed to pay the entire amount due.

“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, White said in the statement. “Now that lawyers from the Office of the State Auditor are trying this case, we are going to ensure Mr. Favre is held accountable for his acts and omissions.”

In 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre in an attempt to recover welfare money paid for a volleyball court at the University of Southern Mississippi and to an experimental concussion treatment company Favre had invested in, but the agency did not sue to recover for the amounts due with the $1.1 million transfer.

Below is White’s Answer and Counterclaim in full detail:

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