JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Many Mississippians are still reeling from the news that Attorney Brad Pigott was relieved from his duties amid the ongoing civil lawsuit in the welfare scandal.

Pigott was notified on Friday, July 22 that the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) would allow his current contract to expire and would not be entering into another contract.

Pigott was initially hired for a one-year term, which was set to expire on July 30, 2022.

Governor Tate Reeves’ Office released a statement that said, “There are many capable lawyers who can handle the work necessary to recover stolen TANF funds. When his contract expired, it was decided that a semi-retired solo practitioner was not the right person to sign on for more work. DHS is retaining new counsel that will vigorously pursue this task. The criminal prosecution and investigation work is totally separate from the work of DHS. The answers that people are seeking will be found in that effort. This work to recover misspent funds will continue uninterrupted, with a full-service law firm that is capable of handling it professionally. “

According to Mississippi Today, the former U.S. attorney was fired after filing a subpoena to look into the state’s misspent welfare funds.

Leaders with MDHS said they have no further comment, while a spokesperson for the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office said they do not comment on pending litigation.

According to Mississippi Today, the director of MDHS claimed that Pigott was fired because he did not consult with the agency prior to filing the subpoena. However, emails showed draft copies Pigott sent of the subpoena to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and the welfare agency’s counsel beforehand.

The governor’s office said MDHS is seeking news council.

MDSH leaders said the change in attorneys does not indicate any change in the commitment of MDHS to recover the TANF funds for taxpayers.