Senator asks for federal investigation into unemployment system - WFLA News Channel 8

Senator asks for federal investigation into unemployment system

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File photo of Senator Bill Nelson File photo of Senator Bill Nelson

After more than two weeks of trouble with Florida's new unemployment claims system, Senator Bill Nelson is pushing for a federal investigation.

Nelson said Thursday that he's asking the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate problems with the new website, which launched Oct. 15.

Users have complained about multiple issues, including problems logging in, incorrect information showing up on accounts and trouble getting through the phone system to talk to someone who can answer their questions.

View Story: Floridians having problems with new unemployment system

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity released a statement in response, saying it is working "around the clock to ensure the needs of every claimant are addressed."

"We welcome any assistance and input Senator Nelson and the federal government can provide as we identify and fix website problems where they arise," the statement from DEO executive director Jesse Panuccio said.

Nelson's request comes as another computer issue is prompting complaints by some Floridians.

A mass email regarding the unemployment issues sent from an official in the governor's office displayed the email addresses of hundreds of people, "cc-ing" them all on the email.

The email, signed by Warren Davis of the Office of Citizen Services in the Executive Office of the Governor, thanked the recipient for contacting the governor's office and went on to address concerns with the new unemployment claims system.

News Channel 8 found that email prompted numerous complaints sent to the governor's email address, as recipients raised privacy concerns and worries about receiving unwanted emails as a result.

Some recipients appeared to use the new email chain to talk about the unemployment issues, and even circulate a petition calling for a federal investigation into problems with the new system.

Under Florida law, emails to government officials including the governor are public record, and can be viewed online. The individual email addresses of those who write the governor or other public officials can also be viewed.

Asked about the email issue, a spokesman for the governor's office pointed to that fact but did not provide further comment about why the email addresses were included as a bulk list on the message that was sent out. He did not respond to further requests for comment on that issue. 

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