Welfare scandal sharpens contrasts in long-poor Mississippi


              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service in his office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 8, 2020. A defendant in a Mississippi welfare fraud case said in a court document in 2022 that she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to retired NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of Bryant. Bryant, who served two terms as governor, has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., is pictured on Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - The volleyball courts in the Wellness Center at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., are pictured Sept. 16, 2022. In a court filing on Dec. 5, the Mississippi Department of Human Services demanded that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi repay millions of dollars of welfare money that went toward building the volleyball facility. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Oct. 17, 2018. On May 9, 2022, the Mississippi Department of Human Services sued Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - Nancy New, who with her son, Zachary, ran a private education company in Mississippi, pleads guilty to state charges of misusing public money that was intended to help some of the poorest people in the nation, April 26, 2022, at Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss. New said in a court document she directed $1.1 million in welfare money to former NFL star Brett Favre at the direction of former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant has denied the accusation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              FILE - John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, confers with defense attorneys Merrida Coxwell, right, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 22, 2022. Davis pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in a conspiracy to misspend tens of millions of dollars that were intended to help needy families in one of the poorest states in the U.S. as part of the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
            
              April Jackson stands outside her Jackson, Miss., apartment Oct. 5, 2022, and tells about the bureaucratic headaches she encountered as a single mother to collect a modest amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to help support her children who range in age from a few months to 13 years old. Funds from the program designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, were misspent and lawmakers are seeking to gain a better understanding of the welfare scandal. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              April Jackson stands outside her Jackson, Miss., apartment Oct. 5, 2022, and tells about the bureaucratic headaches she encountered as a single mother to collect a modest amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to help support her children who range in age from a few months to 13 years old. Funds from the program designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, were misspent and lawmakers are seeking to gain a better understanding of the welfare scandal. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              April Jackson stands outside her Jackson, Miss., apartment Oct. 5, 2022, and tells about the bureaucratic headaches she encountered as a single mother to collect a modest amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to help support her children who range in age from a few months to 13 years old. Funds from the program designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, were misspent and lawmakers are seeking to gain a better understanding of the welfare scandal. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              Brandy Nichols, a single mother of four children who are 8 and younger, speaks to reporters following a meeting of the Mississippi House and Senate Democratic Caucuses, about the difficulty of obtaining Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds in Mississippi, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in Jackson. Funds from the program designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, were misspent and lawmakers are seeking to gain a better understanding of the welfare scandal. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
            
              File - Brandy Nichols, a single mother of four children who are 8 and younger, speaks to members of the Mississippi House and Senate Democratic Caucuses, about the difficulty of obtaining Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds in Mississippi, Oct. 18, 2022, in Jackson. Funds from the program designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency, were misspent and lawmakers are seeking to gain a better understanding of the welfare scandal. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
Welfare scandal sharpens contrasts in long-poor Mississippi