Brett Favre is repaying the $1.1 million in welfare money given to him for multiple speeches he didn't show up to deliver, according to the Mississippi state auditor. It was announced that auditor Shad White received $500,000 from the former Green Bay Packers quarterback on Wednesday. Favre also committed to repaying the other $600,000 in installments over the next few months.
"I want to applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith effort to make this right and make the taxpayers and TANF families whole,'' White said in a statement Wednesday. "To date, we have seen no records indicating Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.'' This announcement comes two days after White released an audit of spending by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, which showed that Favre was paid by the Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit group whose former leader has been indicted in an embezzlement scheme. Favre went to Twitter on Wednesday night to explain what happened.
"My agent is often approached by different products and brands for me to appear in one way or another," Favre wrote. "This request was no different, and I did numerous ads for Families First. I have never received monies for obligations I didn't meet. To reiterate Auditors White's statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi. I have spent my entire career helping children through Favre 4 Hope donating nearly $10 million to underserved and underprivileged children in Mississippi and Wisconsin. It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most."
The money being repaid by Favre will go to the Department of Human Services. The audit reported $94 million in questionable spending by the agency, which included payments for sports activities with no connection to helping people. "If there was a way to misspend money, it seems DHS leadership or their grantees thought of it and tried it,'' White said.