Former Gov. Phil Bryant pushed to make NFL legend Brett Favre’s volleyball idea a reality, text messages entered into the state’s ongoing civil lawsuit over the welfare scandal reveal. The then-governor even guided Favre on how to write a funding proposal so that it could be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Service, the texts show, even after Bryant ousted the former welfare agency director John Davis for suspected fraud.
Bryant texted nonprofit founder Nancy New in July of 2019, within weeks of Davis’ departure: “Just left Brett Favre. Can we help him with his project. We should meet soon to see how I can make sure we keep your projects on course.”
According to the filing and a text Favre forwarded to New, Bryant assured Favre when he asked him how the new agency director might affect their plans to fund the volleyball stadium, saying: “I will handle that… long story but had to make a change. But I will call Nancy and see what it will take.”
Bryant, Favre, New, Davis, and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport, the newly released texts, filed by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show, as reported.
“The evidence suggests that MDHS Executives, including Governor Bryant, knew that Favre was seeking funds from MDHS to build the Volleyball Facility … and participated in directing, approving, or providing Favre MDHS funds to be used for construction of the Volleyball Facility,” the court file reads.
These newly revealed texts should be enough evidence to say: “Gotcha!”