WASHINGTON -- Congressman Sander Levin, who represents communities in Metro Detroit, wrote a 2-page letter to Governor Rick Snyder that states the governor needs to make things right for people who've been wrongly accused of unemployment fraud and fined thousands of dollars.
The congressman's office reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers about the letter and spoke to us via satellite from Washington, DC. Levin said the unemployment agency issues was brought to his attention when the state Auditor General's first of two reports on the agency came out in February 2016. The congressman said he was astonished by the findings and the role an automated computer system (MiDAS) played into it.
>> Read his letter to the governor by clicking here.
"The buck has to stop with the governor and those who work for him. I think they were trying to save a lot of bucks, and they can't now pass the buck to anybody but themselves. That's why I wrote a letter to the governor. He has to essentially say to the people who work for him 'you've got to go back as the federal agency requires and look at all the claims and reevaluate them,'" Levin told the Problem Solvers.
The Problem Solvers emailed Governor Snyder directly about the letter, as well as his communication staff. Unemployment office spokesperson Ken Silfven responded. He said, "The agency never was in violation of federal law. No claimant was denied due process and the Office of Auditor General noted the agency had complied with federal standards." Rep. Levin strongly disagreed with that statement.
FOX 17 followed up with the Auditor General's office which said the unemployment agency was not in full compliance when explaining to people what they did wrong. That's in the audit in Finding #1, letter c. The unemployment agency said it disagrees with the finding.
Silfven also said, "Please also know that the agency is in communication with the U.S. Department of Labor regarding review of cases that have not been appealed."