California Globe has reported now for more than two years on the horrific fraud in California’s unemployment agency during Covid, the Orwellian-named “Employment Development Department.” The fraud totaled more than $32 billion in taxpayer funds.
In July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the formation of a “strike team” to solve numerous issues plaguing the Employment Development Department, including resolving the backlog of millions of unfulfilled unemployment claims, and fraudulent unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown was first ordered by Gov. Newsom in March 2020.
Overseeing the EDD was California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Julie Su, who confirmed in 2021 that, in 2020, fraudsters stole at least $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits from California, the Globe reported. And 800,000 unemployment claims were paid late, along with 12.7 million delayed eligibility determinations.
For her efforts, California Labor Secretary Julie Su was allowed to “fail up,” was named to a prominent position in President Joe Biden’s administration as Deputy Secretary of Labor. California often promotes terrible state employees, up and out to other agencies. This “promotion” took Su out of the state entirely.
Now Julie Su is in the running for U.S. Secretary of Labor, despite the trail of destruction left behind her in California.
Friday, California Reps. Kevin Kiley (CA-03), Tom McClintock (CA-05); Jay Obernolte (CA-08); Mike Garcia (CA-27); Young Kim (CA-40); Ken Calvert (CA-41); and Darrell Issa (CA-48), delivered a letter to President Joe Biden expressing their strong opposition to Julie Su’s consideration for Secretary of Labor.
The spelled out how Su presided over one of the largest and easily preventable cases of unemployment fraud in U.S. history, resulting in more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds stolen, including by state prison inmates and international criminal syndicates.
They also explained how Su championed AB 5, a cruel and destructive labor law that destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of independent contractors and freelancers. Rep. Kiley was joined by Reps. McClintock (CA-05); Obernolte (CA-08); Garcia (CA-27); Kim (CA-40); Calvert (CA-41); and Issa (CA-48) on the letter.
The California State Auditor completed an audit of the EDD in January 2021 laying out how poorly run the EDD has been, as well as the avoidable fraud. They explain:
“The economic shutdowns in early 2020 led to historically high numbers of UI claims in a very short time (claim surge), and further shutdowns began in December 2020, raising the potential for additional spikes in unemployment. This audit reviewed EDD’s response to the claim surge, its handling of the resulting backlog of unpaid claims, and the assistance it has provided to individuals through its call center.”
The Auditor said the EDD has been aware of internal problems for more than 10 years, while failing to prepare for inevitable economic downturns in the state, throughout the Gov. Jerry Brown administration and well into Gov. Gavin Newsom’s. “EDD had no comprehensive plan for how it would respond if California experienced a recession and UI claims increased correspondingly,” the audit reported.
But what led to the $31 billion in fraudulent claims was when Secretary Julie Su made the decision to suspend most EDD eligibility requirements, according to the audit. It was only federal oversight which caught this and notified the EDD that they could not suspend eligibility requirements.
The Audit found:
“In March 2020, the secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (agency secretary) directed EDD to pay claimants UI benefits before determining whether they met key program eligibility requirements, and EDD expanded this directive to include most program eligibility determinations. In April 2020, the agency secretary further directed EDD to temporarily stop collecting the certifications claimants must regularly submit that assert they remain eligible for benefits.”
Given the recent train derailment and toxic disaster in Ohio, with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg ignoring it, and finally breaking his silence to blame the Trump administration, Julie Su may be just what the Biden administration is looking for – more incompetence and fraud.
The letter here and below.Su-Delegation-Letter-2.17.2023-Kiley
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