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'For the People' attorney offers to 'fix' state unemployment website

Posted at 9:32 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 22:24:05-04

FLORIDA — A well-known Florida lawyer says he wants to help fix unemployment.

John Morgan of the 'Morgan and Morgan Law Firm' says the company behind Florida’s unemployment site needs to be held accountable.

He posted this viral video on Twitter Tuesday in which he offers to take the company behind the site to court, pro bono.

"We were sold a lemon," said Morgan," We bought something and paid a whole lot of money for it and it didn't work at the worst time."

The site, called CONNECT, been virtually unusable for large portions of the COVID-19 pandemic, as hundreds of thousands raced to sign up for unemployment benefits.

"I've never, ever in the 30-something years I've been practicing law had this many people calling for help," said Morgan.

They're people like Margarida DaSilva, who we spoke to on April 28th.

“my rent is way past due. Where do I turn?" said DaSilva.

And Chris Girard, who interviewed with Fox 4's Rob Manch the week before.

"I did what I was told to do, and now I’m being penalized and I can’t even get my unemployment. Absolutely ridiculous," said Girard.

The state Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has previously said that the issues with the site were caused by too many people filing claims at the same time.

But a 2019 audit shows that the $77-million dollar site, designed by Deloitte Consulting almost 10 years ago, had issues well before the pandemic hit.

"It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when. But the when happened when it should not have happened. It happened at the worst possible time when the world stopped," said Morgan.

Morgan adds that the company sold the state and then-Governor Rick Scott, a product that they knew was faulty.

He's hoping to get the state its money back and says Governor DeSantis can use it help the thousands that are struggling in our state.

"I wanna know how they got the contract. I wanna know if they were supporters or donors. I wanna know what the change orders were. There's a lot of things that the state of Florida and the taxpayers have a right to know," said Morgan.

We have reached out to Governor DeSantis, Senator Rick Scott, the DEO and Deloitte Consulting for comment, but have not heard back.