Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sharing Dresses & Pulling Strings

 The following post is an excerpt of Anna Wolfe's June 22 story on the Nancy New Scandal. 

In the days and weeks leading up to their arrests in early 2020, Nancy New and her son Zach New sought help from Mississippi’s highest officials to stop what they described as their persecution.

Private text messages obtained by Mississippi Today show the News reacting with a combination of hubris, a sense of betrayal and even confusion over their plight. 

The News had been in charge of spending tens of millions of federal welfare dollars in Mississippi, but the state didn’t hire their nonprofit to provide tangible resources to the poor. Instead, it was to run a private referral center, while the state would use the nonprofit as its piggy bank for projects it couldn’t find funding for elsewhere. 

In many cases, these programs occurred out in the open. The welfare agency’s partnership with a Christian ministry run by WWE wrestlers was written into plans shared with the federal government. A $5 million lease agreement that paid for construction of a new volleyball stadium under the guise that people in poverty would attend courses at the facility was included in board meeting minutes and approved by the Institutes of Higher Learning and the attorney general’s office. And Nancy New’s financing of a private pharmaceutical firm was explained in text messages that retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre sent to the state’s highest official, then-Gov. Phil Bryant.


That could help explain why the News seemed surprised to find themselves the subject of a probe that officials eventually called the largest public embezzlement bust in state history. In Nancy New’s many roles, she was often carrying out the vision of Gov. Bryant and his wife, Deborah Bryant. 

In her panic to shut down the investigation, Nancy New secured a meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, according to the text messages and a source with knowledge of the meeting. She seemed to hope that the federal prosecutor could provide her information about the probe. 

“It has passed [sic] time to turn the other cheek,” Nancy New wrote to her two sons the evening of Jan. 25, 2020. “First, though, we have [to] make it through this and get this stopped, get cleared of their harassment, etc. then we will go after them all. It will obviously take a lot of money and time but we may need to go on and file once we find out what Mike Hurst says.”


These never-before-published text messages shed light on the incredulous attitudes of the defendants and their last attempts to save themselves before the scandal broke. After Mississippi Today’s “The Backchannel” series published in April, the News pleaded guilty to several counts including bribery, fraud, wire fraud and racketeering under a favorable plea deal that allows them to avoid any time in state prison as long as they cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Still, the pleas were a massive fall for a family that had been so politically connected. 

Nancy New was such a close friend to Deborah Bryant that on the same day she plotted with her sons to “go after” her detractors, she lent some of her clothes to the First Lady to try on. Nancy New arranged delivery of the items to the house of the governor’s daughter, Katie Bryant Snell, in text messages with her son Zach New days before their arrests. In explaining the messages, Bryant’s public relations consultant told Mississippi Today that Deborah Bryant had told Nancy New she was getting ready for a trip and had nothing to wear. Close enough to share clothes, it’s unclear what the Bryant family may have discussed with the News about the ongoing investigation. Zach New and Bryant’s son-in-law Stephen Snell were also included in a friendly group message where the men mostly discussed sports.

At that time, the News were aware they were being investigated. They knew their nonprofit’s finances were in disarray. But they didn’t know they were about to be accused of embezzling more than $4 million in federal welfare dollars to use for their private school company and to make investments in Favre’s pharmaceutical venture called Prevacus....

 “Doug, Families First and we, are truly being railroaded,” Nancy New sent in a message in late January to Doug Davis, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s chief of staff....

 “Because we’re being investigated is why. We need someone to investigate the investigators and this BS investigation,” Jess New texted his mother on Jan. 26, 2020. “It’s a witch hunt and blatant harassment.”.... 


Read the rest of the article. 



Anonymous said...

Ironic that Shad's smiling mug lines up right beside this article. That smile was before saga of Phil's emails.

Anonymous said...

Of course they strongly believed that they had not done anything illegal, because their criminal acts were considered perfectly legal according to Mississippi standards.

Anonymous said...

Is Deputy Phil ever going to get the stink off of his hands?

Anonymous said...

Witch hunt… hmmm, now where have I heard that before?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the News were patsys for the Bryants.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t there still a political consulting firm run by Bryant and Snell and Songy? Bryant and Snell are toast, does Songy not have enough sense to cut bait and start over? It is very hard for a coat tail rider to get off the ride.

Anonymous said...

Sharing dresses? Too much information.

Anonymous said...

Funny KF is still casting Nancy New as the center of this “scandal”, but continues to filter comments about Shad and his blatant coverup of Phil Bryant’s involvement. There was a scandal alright, but the blame has been laid on the wrong folks thus far.

Anonymous said...

The political ambition is just oozing out of the corners of Slimy Shad's smile. Covering for Phil-Billy will be his downfall.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the guy's take from Oxford in the story (at the end) seems to have the right perspective. News became pawns in Gov's use of funds, he found out it was illegal and threw them under the bus. Whew, I can't imagine the anger they have to work through.

Anonymous said...

Phil knew it was illegal from the very beginning.

Anonymous said...

7:18 for the win.

Witch Hunt or justice might depend on whether you has been thieving and and embezzling versus being robbed said...


Some of these clowns involved in this TANF fiasco seem barely smart enough to fall off a turnip truck.

I'm thinking Deppity Pheel's best hope is that no one can be bothered to try and figure out who all had been behind the wheel of said TANF turnip truck.

Why look for answers if you don't want more bad news?

Anonymous said...

Isn't there still $40-50 million the forensic auditors still have not been able to trace? I wonder where that went.

Anonymous said...

Nancy should be mad, really mad that her so called friends through her under the bus while they enjoy nice volleyball games, used clothing and retirement.

Anonymous said...

10:30 also for the win. I cannot believe Bryant has escaped (so far).

Anonymous said...

She has a Bachelor's degree in English Education and she wrote “It has passed time to turn the other cheek."

I know schools taught grammar back then because I was there.

Anonymous said...

When is anyone going to realize and comment on Christi Webb’s involvement? She was the north half of Families First and she has never been investigated. Who is protecting her and why? This smells fishy.

Anonymous said...

I represented a client before the MS Oil and Gas Board with Jess New as the Chairman. Amazingly, I think that Jess New might have been the least corrupt member of the Board... At least that day.

Anonymous said...

Jess New isn’t the Chairman of the Oil and Gas Board, but don’t let facts get in the way of your butt hurt. You’re probably better off staying in Justice Court.

Anonymous said...

This entire case has the appearance of a ticking time bomb. There are folks named and unnamed thus far who have got to be nervous. Based on the reporting alone, if accurate, I see no way Phil gets through this unscathed. If the reporting is accurate, he should be indicted. As for Shad, in my opinion his political career is in serious jeopardy. He’s owned this case from Day 1, and it may just blow up in his face. And ironically enough, the News may be the ones to light the fuse.

Anonymous said...

If the News have the goods on HRC they are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

This entire case has the appearance of a ticking time bomb. There are folks named and unnamed thus far who have got to be nervous. Based on the reporting alone, if accurate, I see no way Phil gets through this unscathed. If the reporting is accurate, he should be indicted. As for Shad, in my opinion, his political career is in serious jeopardy. He’s owned this case from Day 1, and it may just blow up in his face. And ironically enough, the News may be the ones to light the fuse.

Well, it is clearly a corruption case. But it depends on if the Department of Justice (Darren LaMarca) gets involved.

It took them about 4 years to indict Chris Epps, from the time of the complaint to the 49-count indictment.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:34 - You see the plea deal? It’s more than safe to say the Feds are involved. The News don’t get that deal unless more heads are gonna roll.

Anonymous said...

Bryant is a total dirt bag for his role in this scandal. He and Marsha always struck me as arrogant hypocrites. My instincts were right. Hope he gets charged. Can I put up a reward for information leading to his conviction??

Kingfish said...

Comment I didn't approve. I'm halfway through writing it.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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