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Nevada Assembly Republicans seek federal investigation of DETR

In this Tuesday, July 14, 2020, file photo Nevada Assemblywoman Robin Titus looks toward a colleague on the sixth day of the 31st Special Session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City,.
In this Tuesday, July 14, 2020, file photo Nevada Assemblywoman Robin Titus looks toward a colleague on the sixth day of the 31st Special Session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City,.(David Calvert/The Nevada Independent via AP, Pool)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 4:03 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Republicans in the Nevada Assembly on Wednesday asked a federal inspector general to investigate what they call continuous failure at Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, DETR has failed to take the proper actions needed to administer unemployment claims,” Assembly Republican Leader Robin Titus said in a statement. “The current administration and DETR have failed to communicate to lawmakers and the public what steps, if any, they are taking to fix ongoing problems. The recent news of rampant fraudulent unemployment claims only validate the need for an external investigation by the Department of Labor’s inspector general.

A press representative for Gov. Steve Sisolak did not respond to a request for comment. A DETR representative asked that any questions be emailed to an email address for press at DETER “and we will address them at our next press event.”

The letter says Nevada is struggling with job loss due to COVID-19 but there has been difficulty getting benefits, including those offered under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Sisolak’s communication and implementation of the shutdown has caused mass confusion and frustration for Nevada’s businesses and residents. Nevada’s deficient UI system has only furthered confusion and frustration during this unprecedented pandemic,” the letter states.” Our state’s unemployment system was woefully unprepared and failed to effectively process unemployment insurance claims and deliver benefit payments. The state also could not manage the influx of calls from hurting Nevadans that had difficulties with the UI system, leaving thousands of families struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head.”

DETR on Tuesday issued a statement that there were problems with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments.

“DETR has identified an error in the UI system and staff is working to correct the issue, which has resulted in some claimants reporting they have not received the additional $600 in federal pandemic unemployment compensation this week,” the DETR statement said. “The issue is expected to be resolved tomorrow and all payments will be caught up shortly after the issue is resolved. DETR will share further updates if additional issues arise.”

The Assembly Republicans letter concludes like this:

“The vast array of problems within Nevada’s UI system and its lack of leadership within the agency is concerning. Nevada’s families deserve a government that is sufficiently capable of providing essential assistance during this pandemic. Accordingly, we urge an investigation into DETR’s failure to administer the program in accordance with the guidelines established by the CARES Act, and failure to process unemployment claims and deliver benefits to workers in a meaningful way.”

The letter is addressed to Scott Dahl, who resigned in June as head of the Department of Labor’s inspector general’s office. Larry D. Turner is the acting inspector general.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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