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Local Spotlight: The Mississippi welfare scandal

Texts revealed former NFL player Brett Favre acquired $5 million in welfare funds from the Mississippi government to build a volleyball stadium.
Texts revealed former NFL player Brett Favre acquired $5 million in welfare funds from the Mississippi government to build a volleyball stadium.

Earlier this month, texts uncovered by reporter Anna Wolfe from Mississippi Today found that football legend Brett Favre had worked with former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to embezzle at least $5 million of state welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played the sport.

Mississippi’s welfare troubles didn’t start with Favre, though.

In 2020, an audit of the $94 million spent by the state’s Department of Human Services resulted in the largest embezzlement scheme in state history. As Jackson, Mississippi, reels from its ongoing water crisis, what needs to change when it comes to the transparency in the use of state funds?

We sit down with reporter Anna Wolfe to talk about Mississippi’s welfare scandals in this edition of Local Spotlight.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Arfie Ghedi