Mississippi fires attorney trying to recover misused welfare funds
“I was born and raised in Mississippi, and this particular type of scam was just a particularly offensive failure to use money to support what the TANF Act calls ‘needy families,’ of which we have a surplus in Mississippi and have big, big needs,” he said. “I found it particularly insulting that they so recklessly spent so many millions of dollars trying to eradicate poverty in this state and instead spend them on each other and prominent figures and corporations and their pet institutions.”
Politics in Mississippi has been dominated for years by Republicans, who are rather skeptical about the effectiveness of the federal welfare system. Her concern about the possible misuse of federal funds by poor people has led to this Adoption of strict protective measures to prevent fraud, and the state has paid particular attention to which poor people can get help: An article by ThinkProgress, a progressive news site, found that in 2016, only 167 of the 11,700 Mississippi families who applied for a TANF payment were approved.
Critics say the abuse in Mississippi should have been foreseen when the old welfare system that gave cash benefits to poor families was replaced in 1996 with a system of flat-rate grants given to the states, giving them much more leeway to spend the money.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating the scandal for more than two years, according to Logan Reeves, a spokesman for the State Audit Office. This month Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to focus on Mr. Favre and Mr. Bryant, writing that the latter “has taken clear action to ensure Mississippi’s poorest citizens are denied welfare benefits.” , which are intended to benefit households.”
“The people of Mississippi deserve answers,” wrote Mr. Thompson.
Mr Bryant did not immediately respond to a message on Saturday, but in a statement earlier this month prompted by Mr Thompson’s letter, a representative for Mr Bryant said he denied any wrongdoing. “These allegations against Governor Bryant are false,” the statement said. “Each claim against these individuals was discovered and prosecuted as a result of an investigation requested by Governor Bryant from the State Examiner.”
In April Mississippi today reported that $1.7 million in welfare funds went to a pharmaceutical company in which Mr. Favre had invested and that Mr. Bryant, knowing public money was going to the company, agreed to buy shares in the company shortly after leaving office to take over the company. (In the end, the news service reported, Mr. Bryant didn’t take the stock.)