Attorneys for the State of Mississippi are asking a judge to force retired NFL star Brett Favre to turn over tax returns and text messages as the Mississippi Department of Human Services continues its efforts to recoup millions in misspent welfare funds.
“MDHS has propounded a total of twenty-seven requests for production to Favre. Favre has raised objections to every request,” says the motion to compel discovery, which State attorneys filed in the Circuit Court of Hinds County on Monday.
Favre is one of dozens of individuals targeted in the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ civil lawsuit. The former MDHS director, John Davis, pleaded guilty to state and federal charges last year for his role in directing $77 million in Temporary Assistance For Needy Families funds to illicit causes.
Millions in TANF funds went to sports celebrities, including Favre, and causes they championed, state attorneys say. Investigators say Favre not only received $1.1 million in TANF funds to tape promotional material and give motivational speeches, but that Davis and nonprofit organizations he’d entrusted millions in TANF funds to directed welfare dollars to two projects the former quarterback asked for assistance with: building a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, his alma mater where his daughter was playing volleyball at the time, and toward Prevacus, a concussion drug company he was heavily invested in.
Favre has denied knowing that the money came from welfare funds and, though he is a target in the civil lawsuit, he is not among those who have been indicted by state or federal prosecutors in the welfare scandal.
Attorneys for MDHS first issued requests for Favre to produce documents relevant to the case in June 2022, but in its filing Monday, the State expressed dissatisfaction with the athlete’s responses. In response to the State’s request for him to “describe in detail all documents and/or recordings and/or data concerning the subject matter of this action that have been destroyed, lost, discarded, or otherwise disposed of,” Favre’s attorneys objected, calling the request “overly broad, unduly burdensome, and irrelevant.”
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