Auditor Shad White said his office received $ 500,000 from Favre on Wednesday, as well as a commitment that Favre would repay the additional $ 600,000 in installments over the next few months.
Favre’s effort to repay the money came two days after White released a spending audit by the Mississippi Department of Human Services which showed that Favre had been paid by the Mississippi Community Education Center, a goal group nonprofit whose former chief has been charged with embezzlement. .
Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the United States, and the Community Education Center has contracted social services to spend money on the temporary help program for needy families, also known. under the name of TANF.
“I would like to applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith efforts to remedy this problem and make TANF taxpayers and families whole,” said White in a statement on Wednesday. “To date, we have not seen any document indicating that Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid for. “
The audit released on Monday indicated that the center paid Favre Enterprises $ 500,000 in December 2017 and $ 600,000 in June 2018, and that it was expected to speak at least three events.
“After a quick review of these dates, the listeners were able to determine that the contracted person did not speak and was not present during these events,” said the auditor’s report.
Favre, who lives in Mississippi, faces no criminal charges. The audit report lists the payments made to it as “questioned” costs, which White says means that “the auditors saw expenses clearly spent or could not verify that the money had been lawfully spent.
White said the money refunded by Favre will be sent to the Ministry of Social Services.
Favre has not returned several text messages sent to him by the Associated Press since Monday. His manager, Bus Cook, told AP on Wednesday: “We have nothing to say.”
The audit identified $ 94 million in questionable agency spending, including payments for sports activities unrelated to helping those in need.
The audit was released months after a former director of social services and five others were charged with embezzling approximately $ 4 million in what White called one of the biggest corruption cases Mississippi public for decades.
“If there was a way to spend the wrong money, it would appear that DHS leaders or their recipients thought about it and tried it,” said White.
John Davis was Director of the Department of Human Services from January 2016 to July 2019, appointed by the governor at the time. Phil Bryant – a Republican who also appointed White to the office when a former auditor resigned. Davis was one of those charged; another was Nancy New, who was the director of the Mississippi Community Education Center. Davis, New and the other accused have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. AP left a phone message Wednesday at the Jackson office of the Mississippi Community Education Center with questions about payments to Favre. There was no immediate response.
Auditor’s report says social service leaders, particularly Davis, “participated in a pervasive and pervasive conspiracy to circumvent internal controls, state law and federal regulations” in order to award grants to certain people and groups. Davis has asked two groups that have received grants, the Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, to spend money with certain other people or groups, according to the auditor’s report.
White said the two non-profit groups received more than $ 98 million in grants from the Department of Social Services in the three years ending June 30. Most of the money came from temporary help to needy families.
White said the audit would be sent to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and that federal officials would decide to sanction the state for the delinquent expenses, said White.