Brett Favre issued a series of posts on Twitter Wednesday night to try and clarify why he was returning $1.1 million to the state of Mississippi. In the chain of tweets, the former Green Bay Packers star claimed he “never received monies for obligations” he didn’t make. Instead, he said when he accepted payment from Families First, he didn’t realize the money was meant for something or someone else.
Favre went on to say that when he found out the payments ended up in his account in error, he moved quickly to pay them back. The Hall-of-Famer also pointed out that he has donated more than $10 million to “underserved and underprivileged” children in both Mississippi and Wisconsin over the years.
As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk noted, Favre’s statement appears to conflict with what the auditor for the state of Mississippi found in pursuing a return of the money in the first place. As the Biloxi Sun Herald reported earlier this week, Mississippi auditor Shad White announced Favre paid back $500,000 and will refund the rest of the $1.1 million in installments over the next few months.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money was paid through the state’s Community Education Center. White said the repayment is set to be held in the state’s clearing center and then used for “TANF-appropriate expenditures.”
Florio believes an agreement between Favre and Mississippi doesn’t close the book on the situation. He thinks the deal will do nothing to “lessen the zeal” of a prosecutor who might want to make an example of Favre. The analyst does admit that state law enforcement is unlikely to pursue any further. On the other hand, Florio believes a federal prosecutor might see an opportunity to press charges.
Such a prosecutor would like to nab a “big fish,” according to Florio, and, by going after someone like Favre, “send a powerful message of deterrence from sea to shining sea.” The point, as the analyst puts it, would be to make sure that the next person who sees the opportunity to take money they don’t deserve would look at the former Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings star’s outcome and think again.
Florio also grants that Favre might be totally innocent. He added that there isn’t a reason to think the former quarterback is lying at this point. At the same time, he says, Favre claiming he earned the money somehow means an investigation is needed. For now, Mississippi considers the matter closed. If an investigation does stem from Favre’s issue, the federal government would more than likely lead the charge.