It doesn’t look like Nancy New will be providing former Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant with more sartorial advice any time soon.
New apparently decided that his friendship with the Bryants was not worth criticizing for numerous financial shenanigans that occurred with state welfare money during Phil Bryant’s later years in as governor.
New, who has previously pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption charges, said in his response to a lawsuit filed by the Department of Human Services, the state’s welfare agency, that part of the money he is being asked to repay was spent at Bryant’s. direction.
Bryant, through a spokesperson, denied the allegation, but the former governor’s scrutiny of one of the biggest cases of public corruption in state history is intensifying.
Last week, in response to ongoing reports of the welfare scandal, U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson, the state’s top congressman, asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the influence Bryant’s possible misuse of federal block grants to the state. supposed to help the poorest of the poor.
Among Bryant’s questionable actions is Nancy New’s claim that he ordered her to pay former NFL quarterback Brett Favre $1.1 million in fees for speeches and other promotional activities. who, according to the Mississippi State Auditor, Favre never played.
Questions have also been raised about the University of Southern Mississippi connection between the three USM alumni, particularly the $5 million in welfare funds New has donated to the Foundation of the USM. University of Southern Mississippi to help build a women’s volleyball facility, in which Favre was intensely interested.
Then there are those pesky text messages between Bryant, Favre and Favre’s business partner in a start-up pharmaceutical company, suggesting that Bryant was receptive to their offer to give him stock in the company as a reward for his supposed help in get millions in state funding.
When this scandal first broke, Bryant was credited by State Auditor Shad White as the whistleblower who spurred the investigation that uncovered massive fraud and wasteful spending within the Department of Human Services. Lately the whistles have been blowing in the opposite direction.