A key figure in Mississippi’s welfare spending scandal has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges under an arrangement that signals he may be cooperating, according to court records.
John Davis directed Mississippi’s welfare agency while it doled out millions of dollars in federal welfare money to projects investigators now say were improper, including a new volleyball facility requested by former NFL quarterback Brett Favre that benefited his daughter.
According to court records, Davis agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and theft — charges that together carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.
“At Davis’s direction, (Mississippi’s welfare agency) provided federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that were never provided,” the Justice Department said in a news release.
The plea represents the first federal prosecutorial action in the two-year-old scandal, though another main player has been indicted on unrelated federal charges.
Davis worked for then-Gov. Phil Bryant, who has consistently denied that he was aware that federal welfare money was being used for the projects, in violation of state and federal laws.... (Read more)
Submitted 10 days ago