Judge Barry Breslow: DETR progress moving too slowly

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:16 PM PDT
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WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) -- Not good enough sums up Judge Barry Breslow’s review of Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR).

He says this state agency responsible for paying unemployment insurance and benefits has not measured up to his court order handed down earlier this month.

Here's the conclusion after reviewing all the facts today.

"The court is encouraged to learn that additional resources both human resources and technology advancement resources are being deployed to work through the problems. The court continues to be concerned that the progress however under the circumstances that people find themselves here in Nevada are moving way too slowly," said Judge Barry Breslow of the Second Judicial District Court.

DETR Administrator Kimberly Gaa says fraud is a problem and that there are 376,000 unique filers, but only 50,000 have uploaded documents to prove their identity.

She talked about the action she is taking to comply with Judge Breslow’s orders. “We’ve been working with the vendor on an e-messaging system mechanism because the PUA system is an all online system expect by next week,” said Gaa.

It would send mass messages to individuals stating the documents needed to prevent fraud.

"If the only means of addressing it is though code or through a computer then it's going to be an arduous process," said a court appointed investigator and attorney, Jason Guinasso.

"Your honor that may be operationally a good thing to do, but that's not what they supreme court a Java and Kelly B Goldburg requires. It's not withholding benefits first and investigate. It's investigate quickly which they haven't done and then proceed to pay," said the Plantiff's Attorney, Mark Thierman. "The only way to work through this it seems to me is to have people man power to work through this back log," Guinansso said.

He says other states have called upon the National Guard to help.

Instead of making a judgment about whether DETR is following his court order he is asking for more information from attorney Jason Guinasso.

"I'm directing you to work with both sides. Work and see where some of the inefficiencies are located. Where the greatest degree of change of approach might lead to better results or otherwise assist the court in making a determination whether DETR continues to make best efforts to comply with a court order and make progress on those other issues," Judge Breslow said.

The Judge says he will allow a hearing about whether the State of Nevada is in contempt of following his court order, if he doesn't see progress.

He says he would like to avoid this at all costs.

The next hearing to make this determination is scheduled for August 20 at 9:30 a.m.

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