JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – U.S. Representative Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) released a letter asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Phil Bryant’s alleged participation in directing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to ineligible individuals.

The letter states that in 2018, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) received $135 million in TANF dollars. However, $77 million of those dollars were allegedly misdirected due to the influence of the governor’s office.

“Mississippi Auditor Shad White has identified numerous questionable and possibly illegal expenditures relative to the misspent TANF funds in a 2020 audit report. Phil Bryant should have known better than to do what he did with this funding meant for families in needs,” the letter stated.

The letter asks the DOJ to work with MDHS to conduct a federal investigation into the TANF embezzlement scheme.