Gov. Tate Reeves gives response to TANF investigation
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - What’s going to be done?
That may be the biggest question on most people’s minds in the State of Mississippi after bombshell texts which appear to show former Gov. Phil Bryant and Pro-Football Hall of Fame quarterback and USM alumnus Brett Favre’s alleged effort to use welfare funds to build a volleyball facility on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Governor Tate Reeves commented on what the state plans to do about this alleged scheme to defraud the government and take away money from those in the state who need it the most.
“Well, my comments with respect to the TANF would be similar to what I have continuously said, and that is the State of Mississippi is going to go after every dollar that was wrongfully spent,” Reeves said. “We have very capable and very confident legal council. We are currently in the process of suing those individuals - that if you look at the initial forensic audit that was done, there was a group of individuals that were identified as being fraud, waste and abuse. We are going to go after every single one of those.
“As the case continues and as more revelations come forward, we’re going to turn over every single rock to make sure we recover as many dollars as we possibly can on behalf of the state. The state is involved in civil litigation because, for us, it’s about recovering the dollars. There are a lot of other state agencies, and certainly, federal entities, that are looking at the criminal side of things, and we are cooperative in that regard because our responsibility and our goal are to recover every single dollar that was wrongfully spent, and we are going to be aggressive in doing so.”
Former Gov. Bryant’s attorney, Billy Quin, said via email that he would give a response to the motion to compel that attached the text messages as exhibits. Below is his statement:
Governor Bryant notified Nancy New’s attorney that he would produce the requested documents even though he isn’t a party to the lawsuit. All of the documents are privileged, so Governor Bryant requested that New’s attorney agree to a protective order that would allow the documents to be used in court with certain reasonable restrictions. Cases should be tried in courts of law where rules of evidence govern, and privileges are respected. They should not be tried in the press, where innuendo and speculation sometimes get confused with actual facts. It appears that New’s attorney prefers to try his client’s case in the latter as opposed to the former. This action is particularly distressing in light of the Suppression Order that Judge Peterson entered in the criminal cases that cover the same subject matter as the civil suit. Governor Bryant intends to provide a timely, thorough, and aggressive response to New’s motion.
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