Charlie Crist criticizes Governor Scott over unemployment website

State's troubled website turns into a political battle

CREATED Dec. 11, 2013

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FLORIDA -- For the first time, former governor Charlie Crist- who recently announced he will run for governor against Rick Scott- is weighing in on Florida's troubled, new unemployment website.

Crist said he would call on Florida's Attorney General to investigate the website, which has left many Floridians unable to claim their unemployment benefits. 

"I would ask the Attorney General to look into this, get to the bottom of it and find out what's happening... find out why we paid $63 million for a website that doesn't work," Crist said.

"If I were governor, we would be on it like nobody's business because they deserve better service. Florida deserves better." 

The unemployment website, CONNECT, launched Oct. 15 and has had technical issues that have caused many users frustration and desperation.  

Some have gone weeks or months without receiving an unemployment check. 

When Fox 4 recently confronted the governor about the site while he was visiting LaBelle, he blamed the problems on an "old computer system" - even though his administraition has spent millions on the new website. 

He also said the man in charge of the agency was "doing a great job" and pointed out that many claims have been processed properly.

The Scott administration has yet to answer Fox 4's questions about how many people statewide have run into problems with the site - keeping them from getting their unemployment benefits.

Scott is running for re-election on the Republican ticket. He's yet to name who his running mate will be this time after his lieutenant governor resigned under a cloud of scandal months ago.

Crist served as governor as a Republican but is now running as a Democrat.

The election is in November.