The Mississippi Supreme Court declined to intervene to in the case involving former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, meaning that the Hall of Famer will remain a defendant in a civil lawsuit alleging the misuse of millions of dollars in welfare funds. Favre had previously requested through his attorneys that he be dismissed from the case, as his attorneys argued that the arguments advanced by the Mississippi Department of Human Services regarding the former quarterback were “utterly meritless.”
In April of this year Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson denied Favre’s request, which was subsequently appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court. In a written order issued Wednesday, Favre’s request for an interlocutory appeal was denied.
The underlying lawsuit alleges that money spent from the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program was improperly utilized. Within the allegations, it is alleged that money was spent on projects Favre supported.
That money includes $5 million for a volleyball arena at Southern Miss — the college Favre attended and where Favre’s daughter played the sport — along with $1.7 million toward development of a concussion treatment drug.
It has also been alleged that Favre sought additional money for a new football practice facility at Southern Miss, as part of an attempt to boost recruiting. Text messages between Favre and former governor Phil Bryant detail how the quarterback sought to duplicate the funding he received for the university’s volleyball court, applying it this time to the football program.
The efforts came amidst a major recruiting push by Favre to try and bring quarterback Shedeur Sanders to Hattiesburg, notably the son of Deion Sanders, who eventually signed with Jackson State after his father was named head coach of the HBCU.
The ongoing matter is civil in nature, and the Hall of Fame quarterback is not facing any criminal penalties. A former department director and other people have pleaded guilty to their part in the misspending.
In a statement to Fox News released last fall, Favre maintained his innocence, stating as follows:
“No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me. I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university.”
Favre and his attorneys will now have to litigate this matter to conclusion.