MS state lawyer FIRED after issuing subpoena to see if ex-NFL star Brett Favre faked $5m donation
A Mississippi state attorney has been fired after serving a subpoena to find out if ex-NFL star Brett Favre faked a $5 million donation to a planned college volleyball center by instead using nonprofit money set aside for needy families.
J. Brad Pigott was fired from the Mississippi Department of Human Services on Friday after serving a subpoena to see where millions of abused welfare funds had gone.
Part of the subpoena filed by Pigott involved a $5 million check that went toward the construction of a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2018.
Pigott told the Times that Favre had agreed to donate $5 million toward the construction of the building.
But the investigator — a former federal prosecutor — alleges Favre instead asked to pay the $5 million from the Mississippi Community Education Center, which was caught in April misusing social funds.
The former Green Bay Packers quarterback is said to have persuaded Nancy New, then head of the Mississippi Community Center, to raise the millions from a fund designed to help impoverished families become self-sufficient.
J. Brad Pigott was fired from the Mississippi Department of Human Services on Friday after serving a subpoena to see where millions of abused welfare funds had gone
New is a close friend of Deborah Bryant, the former first lady of Mississippi whose husband, former GOP governor Phil Bryant, has also been linked to Pigott’s anti-corruption investigation.
Pigott believes his resignation was ordered by current Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, who is also a Republican.
A spokesman for the Mississippi legislature initially insisted that Pigott was fired for refusing to share plans for his subpoena — though he has written evidence that he did so exactly 10 days before it was issued.
They also claimed that the former federal prosecutor’s semi-retired status counted against his future employment, and that they wanted another attorney they believe could commit full-time to take over the case.
Pigott was hired to investigate corruption after a 2020 state audit found that $94 million in federal funds had been misspent and ended up in the pockets of wealthy Mississippians — such as Favre and former Governor Phil Bryant.
Favre is said to have been paid $1.1 million to attend a speaking engagement he never attended, according to The New York Times. Although he eventually paid back the money, the auditors are still sitting on $228,000 of accrued interest.
Brett Favre (pictured) has been accused of falsifying donations and obtaining welfare money to build a college volleyball facility. However, officials said at the time the audit was released there was no evidence leaning towards Favre knowing the money was from welfare
He has been accused of falsifying a $5 million donation to the University of Southern Mississippi volleyball facility (pictured). He asked to pay the money from the Mississippi Community Education Center, which was caught misusing social funds in April
Former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, left, and his wife Deborah pictured in 2016. Deborah has been linked to an anti-corruption investigation in which a non-profit organization run by her friend Nancy New allegedly raised $5 million in cash to fund a Volleyball center to be built at the request of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre after Favre promised to donate the money himself
Pigott believes his resignation was orchestrated by current Mississippi governor Tate Reeves. He and Bryant are both Republicans
The nonprofit claims paid the $5 million in fees to use the college facilities, but Pigott told the Times that this was actually a scheme to cover up willful financial mismanagement.
The subpoena, which was filed with the university’s athletic foundation, demands $20 million from 38 entities, including Favre, and also asks for the transfer of communications between Favre or Bryant or Bryant’s wife Deborah.
In addition, $1.7 million in relief money was given to a pharmaceutical company in which Favre invested.
However, officials said at the time the audit was released there was no evidence leaning toward Favre knowing the money was from welfare, the Times reported.
Now Pigott claims he was told his resignation had nothing to do with his legal work and that he had no other reason for it. The New York Times reported.
“I believe I was fired as a result of a pattern of orders from the Mississippi governor’s office to protect an entity called the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation from any responsibility in this matter,” he told the Times.
The executive director of the agency Pigott worked for now claims he was fired for not consulting his superiors before filing the subpoena.
However, an email – obtained by Mississippi today – has demonstrated that the lawyer had sent a copy of the summons to the lawyer of the office 10 days before the filing.
A spokesman for the governor, Shelby Wilcher, said Pigott’s one-year contract was about to expire and the “half-retired solo practitioner was not the right person to sign for more work,” she told The New York Times.
She did say that Pigott’s work to uncover the mystery behind the mis-spent funds would continue, the Times reported.
Farve was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers for most of his career