Mississippi Today investigative reporter Anna Wolfe, who has closely covered the state’s welfare scandal for more than three years, joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning to discuss a dramatic new development in the case.
(Note: Skip to the 16:15 mark to watch welfare scandal segment)
Wolfe was asked about the abrupt firing of Brad Pigott, the attorney hired by the state’s welfare department to recoup tens of millions in stolen welfare funds — money intended to help the state’s poorest residents but instead benefitted friends of welfare officials and celebrities.
Pigott, a former U.S. attorney and Democrat who had recently subpoenaed the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation for communications it had with former Gov. Phil Bryant and NFL legend Brett Favre, said his firing was politically motivated. Pigott said political operatives in current Gov. Tate Reeves’ office were behind the firing, which has spurred questions of a cover-up in the ongoing case.
Wolfe also discussed Bryant’s role in the scheme, which has become a public focus following Wolfe’s “The Backchannel” investigation. On Wednesday, Mississippi Today broke news that Bryant has been subpoenaed for records regarding the biggest purchase of the welfare scheme — a $5 million volleyball center at University of Southern Mississippi, the former governor’s alma mater.