Reports say the state is “subpoenaing the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation for any of its communication with former Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife Deborah Bryant”.
According to the Mississippi Today;
The Mississippi Department of Human Services filed a civil lawsuit in May accusing dozens of people — including retired NFL quarterback and famed USM alumnus Brett Favre — of misspending or wrongly receiving welfare funds.
But the complaint did not name the athletic foundation, even though it received $5 million in welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at USM — one of the more egregious revelations in a sprawling $77 million welfare scandal that broke in 2020. The complaint doesn’t mention the volleyball building at all.
A subpoena filed Monday may signal the state’s intent to add the USM scheme to the civil complaint and explore whether the Bryants are culpable. The subpoena also asks for any communication between USM athletic foundation board members or employees and Favre, nonprofit founder Nancy New, her sons Zach New and Jess New, former welfare department director John Davis and retired wrestler Ted “Teddy” DiBiase Jr.
The private attorney the welfare agency contracted to bring the civil suit, former U.S. attorney Brad Pigott, also filed a notice Monday with an initial list of people he’s calling to testify, which does not include Bryant.
In order by date, the deposition schedule includes: Zach New, Jesse New, Nicholas Coughlin, Adam Such, Nancy New, Christi Webb, Paul LaCoste, Jacob VanLandingham, Brett Favre, Teddy DiBiase Jr., Brian Smith, Ted DiBiase Sr. and Heart of David Ministries, and Austin Smith.
Nancy and Zach New have pleaded guilty to several criminal charges, including bribery and fraud. In his plea, Zach New admitted to defrauding the government by disguising payments to the athletic foundation, which were used to construct the volleyball facility, as a “lease.” The News received a favorable plea deal that may keep them out of state prison, as long as they cooperate with the ongoing investigation. Davis is also still facing several charges.
Favre was the fiercest proponent of the project at USM, his alma mater and where his daughter played on the volleyball team. He connected with Nancy New, Deborah Bryant’s friend, who was receiving tens of millions in no-bid grants from the welfare department to provide services to needy families.
Flip to the next page for more…