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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Hoosier Supermom Jennifer Glynn’s Facebook Page helps Hoosiers resolve their Unemployment Issues

Jasmine Glover’s report on Hoosier Heroine Jennifer Glynn 

As you all probably know by now, the Hoosier state is dropping the ball Bigly when it comes to paying Hoosiers their unemployment benefits. On Tuesday we wrote about the complete silence of the Department of Workforce Development in addressing these issues. However there is some hope in all of the darkness that is surrounding the cesspool that is our state’s unemployment system. In addition to WISH-TV’s Richard Essex and WTHR’s Bob Segall, Jasmine Minor is joining the fight for government transparency and accountability!

Here’s Jasmine Minor reporting:

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jennifer Glynn, a mom of two, started an unemployment help group on Facebook to assist people in securing unemployment benefits.

Her only experience was going through the unemployment filing process before, but her free advice has been priceless for nearly 7,000 Hoosiers struggling to get the benefits they deserve. 

“These people shouldn’t be losing their homes, they shouldn’t be losing everything that they own,” Glynn said. “I’ve had people tell me that they were on the brink of depression until I helped them, that they were on the verge of giving up until I gave them hope.”

Glynn says while the group feels like a full-time job, often answering calls and messages at 3 a.m., she believes it’s necessary work because people are growing desperate. 

“Who else is going to help them?” Glynn asked. “I’m trying to help everybody that I can. And there have been times that I have not been able to help somebody. And that’s disappointing.”

She says the most common issue she sees is when people receive a letter for making an error on their filing or their appeal form. That error that can be costly. 

“I specifically know one woman, she had to wait over a year just for one error,” Glynn said. “That’s the longest that I’ve seen.”

However, she says it’s been nearly impossible to get someone from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to answer a phone call or email, making it difficult to figure out what the exact error was. 

Glynn says if a claim has an issue, it can’t be fixed until a claims representative or an investigator. 

“The Indiana Department of Workforce Development currently has 16 issues listed on their COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions worksheet,” Glynn said. “The list that I have, I currently have a list of 47 that could cause issues and keep somebody from getting paid. Big difference, right?”

Glynn says, after doing extensive research, she was able to create templates others can fill out to make sure the right information is getting to claim representatives so that errors are not made. She then helps to make sure those forms are sent to the right place.

We here at Indy Republican salute Jennifer Glynn! It is men and women like her that will help us all to achieve more of our goals of good government! Gary Welsh is smiling down from heaven on this awesome lady!

If anyone needs help with their unemployment claim please click here to go to Jennifer Glynn’s Facebook Group. She needs all the help she can get! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Deafening Silence of the Department of Workforce Development w/Update

As we, the late great Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden have written about previously. The Hoosier state’s unemployment insurance program as managed by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) continues to hurt everyday Hoosiers, be a dumping ground for every two bit political hack where they use taxpayer money and funnel it to them and their cronies. Click herehere and here for more information on the corrupt possibly illegal conduct performed by members of the DWD leadership. And they refuse to be open and transparent notwithstanding that this agency is supposed to safeguard the state’s unemployment insurance funds. 

Back in 2012 Gary Welsh and Paul Ogden both reported on Whistleblower’s at DWD who revealed that mismanagement at the agency was to blame for the bankrupting of Indiana’s Unemployment Insurance Fund. From the end of 2008 to 2015 the state was forced to borrow money from the federal government to cover the shortfall caused by the incompetence and corruption by the agency heads at DWD. WISH-TV’s Deanna Dewberry did a wonderful report on DWD back in 2012 which can be read by clicking here. Unfortunately the agency has not noticeably improved at all over the years. The agency has especially been dropping the ball when it comes to preventing and go after unemployment insurance fraud.

On December 30th, 2020 Indystar posted Nick Penzenstadler’s USA Today article “How scammers siphoned $36B in fraudulent unemployment payments from US”. The article reveals how since are least May of 2020, online scammers have been responsible for at least $36 Billion of fraudulent unemployment claims. Pezenstadler interviewed one of the people who has engaged in this massive cyber fraud and explains how it had been done. We wrote about unemployed Hoosiers having to fight the very state agency that is supposed to help them deal with unemployment fraud back in March

Now a sensible administration after all of this negative publicity, we would think would want to at least attempt to appear to clean up there act. If only to try and stem the continuing bad public relations. But as WISH-TV’s Richard Essex reported last Wednesday July 7th, 2021 DWD is just doubling down on avoiding public scrutiny. In a wonderful story entitled “How the Department of Workforce Development stonewalls Hoosiers”, Essex had this to say about his attempts to speak with DWD:

For months, News 8 has asked the Indiana Department of Workforce Development for a sit-down interview with its leader, Commissioner Fred Payne; News 8’s request have been repeatedly denied. 

So on Wednesday, News 8 went to the state government’s office building to make a request in person.

The Department of Workforce Development main office appears to be right next to the public entrance of the Government Center South building.

“Hi, I’m Richard Essex of WISH-TV. We are trying to make an appointment to see the commissioner, Fred Payne,” News 8’s Richard Essex said. “Is this the office?”

Upon News 8’s arrival at the office, a security guard hired by the state said she wasn’t sure where Payne’s office was located.

“Well, you can go down there to the other office and get a hold of him,” she said. 

The security guard escorted News 8 to another office that she called the intake office. Once inside that office, News 8 made the same request; a woman lady behind the desk at the intake office said she was new to the job and wasn’t sure who we needed to speak with. 

After waiting an hour, News 8 was told someone was coming to talk.

Next thing that happened, the office door was closed and locked.

News 8 waited in a hallway after being promised someone would come to talk. No one ever appeared, so News 8 went back the first office.

As it turns out, News 8 were not the only ones in the building trying to get answers.

Kathi Dean told News 8 the Department of Workforce Development claims she was overpaid. Dean had grown tired of waiting for callbacks and unanswered emails, so she came to downtown Indianapolis for answers.

“What about people that worked for years and put time into this and have to work and wait and wait on this money?” Dean asked. “So if you want to stop our PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), just go right ahead on and give us our money from unemployment back pay all at one time so we can go ahead on and live.”

A security guard told Dean to make an appointment.

News 8 continued to wait for someone from Workforce Development to come out and talk, or at least make an appointment.

Several people were in the office; none of them came to the door.

Here’s the video from WISH-TV’s website featuring the comically inept conduct displayed by DWD:

We are most pleased that Mister Essex is not alone in his quest to get answers out of DWD. Bob Segall over at WTHR has also done his own championship work on the problems plaguing DWD.

We cannot recommend enough that you all check out Mister’s Segall’s and Essex’s great work, it’s YUGE!

Looking into all of this craziness at DWD reminds us all of a story that Paul Ogden mentioned on his blog back in 2011. Itwas a report about a possibly non existent state agency, Kara Kenney as always did an incredible job reporting on it at the time.

Many questions remain, and much digging needs to be done. One of the biggest concerns is how do Hoosiers navigate the labyrinth, that stands in the way of them receiving their benefits? To be honest we are not sure quite yet how. Perhaps a few little birdies might clue us in. Gary Welsh is gone physically from this world but his work had barely begun. Hang tight fellow ruffians! Things are going to get interesting!

P.S. Note to all of you, according to what we hear through the grapevine the Leadership Team at DWD, including the Commissioner have offices on the third floor of DWD in the government center south. Word of caution, should you get to the third floor our sources tell us that the atmosphere is a bit thinner than elsewhere in the building. Just FYI.

UPDATE: An alert reader just sent us this awesome tweet from Rob Kendall giving his take on the whole situation:

UPDATE: If anyone is having trouble with an unemployment issue please click here to go to  WISH-TV’s website and fill out the form on the page. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Repost: Conservatives should Oppose the Death Penalty

Good Morning Friends! We at the blog are working on some more stories for the coming weeks and months. So we thought that while we have to unfortunately keep you waiting, that we would repost some of our earlier work. This post is from back in March 2018. We were inspired to write it because of a wonderful article by Sarah Quinlan over at Redstate. This was of course before Redstate purged itself of  its talent and decided to become shills for the Orange Man Baby Trump. We stand by every word of this post and hope you all will enjoy this little gem from our vaults. Have a blessed day brothers and sisters!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Conservatives should Oppose the Death Penalty 

Recently we all were pursuing online and came across an intriguing article called “Republicans Should Seek to End the Death Penalty Not Expand It” by Sarah Quinlan over at Redstate. The article is well worth reading in it’s own right. IR being conservative Republicans and believing christians one area in which we are at variance with many of our fellow conservatives is in our opposition to capital punishment. We oppose this on many grounds rooted in our Christian faith as well as being a natural outgrowth of our desire to limit the power of the state to the functions it MUST absolutely have in order to defend the lives, liberty and property of its citizenry. 

Those of us who are opposed to abortion must if we are to be intellectually and morally consistent must at the very minimum be as equally concerned about the death penalty. It is an irreconcilable quandary to us to favor limiting government power but to also allow the state which we at best view as a restrained monster the power of life and death over its citizens. We are not opposed to killing in self defense or defense of others. Or in defense of the United States in time of war. Those are very different circumstances than executing a person convicted of a crime. As Christians and conservatives we are all to familiar with the reality of sin or of fallen human nature. We are all to painfully aware that sin and vice have one of there greatest breeding grounds in government. For that reason alone we should abolish the death penalty if only to possibly avoid being victims of it ourselves. After all anyone may potentially be wrongfully convicted of a capital offense. This maybe just us speaking here but we don’t feel like being sent to death row.

For more information visit Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty by clicking this link: https://conservativesconcerned.org/

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Goodbye to Frank Bonner AKA Herb Tralek

Frank Bonner AKA Herb Tarlek 1942-2021

One of our favorite all time tv series is WKRP In Cincinnati. To this day we still often watch episodes of this great classic of American television. One of our favorite characters has always been Herb Tarlek the shady sales manager at WKRP. We were sorry to find out that Frank Bonner the actor that played Herb Tarlek passed away a few days ago. Our old friend the late great blogger Gary Welsh often told us how much he loved WKRP when he was growing up and we think his affinity for white belts was something he might have picked up from Herb Tarlek. 

Variety reported on his death and had this to say about Frank Bonner’s passing:

Frank Bonner, the veteran actor who became famous for portraying Herb Tarlek on the TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Wednesday. He was 79.

Bonner’s family confirmed to TMZ that the actor died as a result of complications from Lewy body dementia.

Desiree Boers-Kort, Bonner’s daughter, posted in a “WKRP In Cincinnati” Facebook group, saying that the actor “loved his fans and was still signing autograph requests up until the last few weeks of his illness. Thank you to all who followed his career. He will be forever missed.

Bonner appeared in 88 of the 90 episodes of “WKRP in Cincinnati,” which aired for four seasons from 1978-82. He also directed six episodes of the sitcom, which followed the misadventures of the staff of a struggling rock radio station in Cincinnati. Bonner’s character was a tasteless sales manager at the station who often failed to secure deals with major advertising agencies. From his signature white belt and shoes to his polyester suits, “plaid boy” would often come into work and be laughed at for his loud outfits. His catchphrase, “Hokay, fine,” was a response used when acknowledging decisions that he didn’t particularly like.

Indy Republican sends our deepest sympathies to Mister Bonner’s family and friends. We can think of no more fitting a tribute to this man than to play the theme song to his most successful show. Here it is the WKRP theme song:

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

It’s Not Unusual, Tom Jones turns 81

Good Morning Fellow Babies!

Sir Tom Jones

IR and the gang hope you are all doing well today, and remember if you overslept for work, don’t go in! Because you are already late! 

A few days ago one of our favorite singers Sir Tom Jones turned 81 years old. Tom is well known for his television show from the 1960’s and for appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. He will always be known for some of his greatest hits “She’s a Lady”, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, the theme to the classics James Bond film “Thunderball” and the unforgettable “It’s Not Unusual”. He has also appeared in films including the criminally underrated 1996 comedy “Mars Attacks”. We thought we would share with all of you some sampling’s of Tom’s to help brighten your day!

Take it away Sir Tom!

It’s Not Unusual:

Tom Jones cover of Kung Fu Fighting:

Tom in Mars Attacks:

Green Green Grass of Home:

She’s a Lady:

Theme to James Bond “Thunderball”:

Monday, May 31, 2021

Happy Memorial Day!

Indy Republican would like to wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day! Throughout the day please take a moment to express your gratitude to our veterans that are still with us. And pay our respects to those who gave all for our freedoms. Also we would like to express our everlasting thanks to our friend and mentor the late, great Gary Welsh. Though Gary never served in the military he was a genuine patriot and hero. He like others that have gone before us are gone physically, their memories and spirits live eternal!

In that spirit let us celebrate and honor America’s Best! Listen to the great classic “Ballad of the Green Berets”:

Praise be to God! Amen!

Friday, May 21, 2021

The Great Humor of Ronald Reagan

We the Indy Republican Posse do sincerely miss, and look to the late great President Ronald Reagan for both inspiration, as well as a contrast to the freak show antics that was the Presidency of Donald Trump. A great friend of the blog came across this footage from the late 1970’s of then Governor Reagan of California speaking at Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast of George Burns. 

Watching this we not only laughed, but saw how a real statesman acts. And why Donald Trump could never be Reagan. What some forget is that Trump actually attacked Reagan in the 1980’s. Check out this this 2015 article that reports on Trump’s spat with Reagan in 1987.

Here’s some much needed comedy from the undisputed king of political wit, Ronald Reagan:

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Differences Between Real Republicans and Trump Imposters

In the near future we plan on outlining in greater detail why we, as Anti-Trump Conservatives are the true followers of Conservatism and Republicanism. Unlike the tangerine con man Trump. 

For now the picture below though short of a thousand words, illustrates briefly the extent to which the modern Trumplican Party has left we Republicans politically homeless:

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ricky Gervais Puts Hollywood Elites in their Place

We just found this kickass monologue by the very talented and funny British comedian Ricky Gervais. This is from his presentation at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. If more talent like his gets put on stage at awards shows we will start watching them again!

Here’s some classic Gervais:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

In a Victory for Hoosiers Marion County Judge Rules Attorney General Curtis Hill Violated Public Records Law

Former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill 

There is some good news and IR thought we would share it with all of you. Johnny Magdaleno writing for the Indianapolis Star on April 1, 2021, reported that former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill had broken state public records law when he refused to disclose the personal email addresses of public officials.

Magdaleno writes:

IndyStar investigative journalist Ryan Martin requested records on employee turnover from the attorney general's office in July 2018. One of the records that fit the request was a PowerPoint presentation on the office's budget that was sent to the personal email addresses of Hill and then-Chief Deputy Aaron Negangard.

Before sending the record to Martin, Hill's office redacted the personal email addresses it contained. His office acknowledged to Martin that the addresses weren't exempt from public records law, saying that "we would provide the information to you if you request it." 

So Martin requested the addresses. When the office still didn't provide them, he filed a complaint with the state's Public Access Counselor, a custodian of public records disputes.

The counselor issued an advisory opinion siding with Martin. "While not prohibited, the use of private email for public business invites oft-unforeseen problems down the road when those emails are requested," counselor Luke Britt wrote in the opinion.

After Britt weighed in, Martin reported that IndyStar sent five emails requesting the information over a 22-day period. The office responded with a new reason as to why it wasn't providing the records, claiming that they were part of Hill's and Negangard's personnel files.

In January 2021, Judge James Joven ruled in favor of IndyStar. In his decision, he wrote that Hill's attorneys failed to show why personal email addresses should be exempt from public record laws. Such laws protect personnel files related to work but don't protect information that doesn't have to do with the management of employees, Joven wrote.

Joven also ordered the attorney general's office to pay IndyStar $49,150 in attorneys fees, and Hill was fined $100 in civil penalties. Britt told IndyStar the civil penalty may mark the first time that an Indiana law sanctioning public employees for not complying with records requests has been applied in court.

We here at Indy Republican would like to applaud Johnny Magdaleno, Ryan Martin and the Indianapolis Star for filing this lawsuit and forcing the issue into the open. If this gets to be a trend their might be hope for the Indianapolis Star yet.

We strongly encourage our readers to contact the Indianapolis Star and tell them to do much more work advocating for good government. Somewhere in this universe Gary Welsh is smiling down at this.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Workforce Development’s Failed Attempt to Combat UI Fraud

Yesterday we wrote about Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development being besieged by unemployment fraud and its inept response to the situation affecting countless out of work Hoosiers. As we promised yesterday we will be going into more detail as to what the state has attempted to do so far to fight back against the rising tide of unemployment insurance fraud and identity theft. 

Bob Segall in his report at WTHR states:

 13 Investigates also obtained the agency’s $500,000 contract with ID.me, signed in November to reduce the state’s high rate of unemployment fraud. In the contract, DWD admits “the fraud schemes have evolved in concert with our efforts to thwart them,” and the massive problem has led to an “extraordinary volume of claimants currently locked” out of their accounts.”

Click here to read the state’s contract with ID.me. Apparently the locking of unemployment insurance accounts by the state is part of their strategy to prevent further fraud. DWD began implementing steps to combat UI Fraud back in the summer of 2020. The company the state hired to help verify unemployment claimants identities ID.me is run by it’s CEO Blake Hall. Hall’s company has also been hired by Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona to do assist with verifying claimants identities. ID.me’s identification process as reported by WTHR is

 The verification process requires unemployment applicants to show documentation – sometimes even engaging with online representatives by holding their driver’s license photo next to their face during a video chat – to prove their identity.

The ID.me executive said the verification process has caught scammers trying to hold up a photo of someone else in an effort to fraudulently pass an identification screening. It regularly detects con artists trying to submit an unemployment claim for a U.S. citizen while they are using a computer or cell phone thousands of miles away in foreign countries. And the verification process quickly flags accounts that change a cell phone number or bank account number immediately after passing verification.

“From what I’m seeing and from the audit we’re doing … it looks like the fraud rate is about 40 percent if not higher,” Hall said. “We’re blocking about a billion dollars in fraud per week. In California alone, we’ve blocked $9 billion in fraud.”

Now DWD’s locking of a suspicious account may help to stop or prevent fraud until the disputed unemployment claim is resolved. That would be okay except for the fact that according to WTHR it can take 12 to 16 weeks to investigate and resolve a disputed claim. Also if someone who is just the victim of unemployment fraud has there account locked it punishes them because they cannot file a claim for money they are entitled to. 

Segall points out that a “13News investigation revealed 1,256,463 of the unemployment claims filed by Hoosiers who were unemployed during the weeks ending March 7 through Oct. 3 were still classified as “pending” in late October. That same investigation showed hundreds of contracted workers hired by DWD to handle calls from people who filed for unemployment are not trained in how to resolve pending claims. The state says some of its backlogged claims are pending due to showing signs of fraud, but DWD did not elaborate on the actual number. 13 Investigates has requested more updated data from the state to show its current number of backlogged claims, but DWD has not yet provided that information.”

To add more insult to injury the state refuses to say what if any system they have in place to notify Hoosiers that there is suspected fraud on their unemployment insurance. As Bob Segall points out you can be a victim of unemployment fraud, even if you never file for unemployment.

Bob Segall reveals that his Social Security Number was stolen by scammers who used it to open unemployment accounts in various states. As Segall recounts:

 My first warning sign was a debit card I unexpectedly received in the mail. It is from US Bank, and when I called the bank, I learned it had been sent to me because I had applied for unemployment benefits in the state of Ohio. Of course, I had not.”

ODJFS (Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services) confirmed someone had used my name, address, former phone number, date of birth and Social Security number to submit several PUA claims in October totaling $8,694. The state had already paid $1,746 of those benefits – not to the debit card I had received, but to a Wells Fargo bank account the scammer had set up in my name. The ODJFS staff member I spoke to said the state was getting ready to make another payment to that bank account when I called to inform the agency that I have never applied for unemployment benefits in Ohio.”

Segall than went to DWD’s website here in Indiana and as he feared someone had setup an Unemployment account in his name. Segall recounts: “ I looked at the DWD website and attempted to set up an account, figuring it might allow me to speak directly with a fraud investigator. But when I tried to set up a general account, the DWD website told me I had already created one and was now entering the incorrect password. My suspicion was correct. Someone opened a DWD account using my name, address, work address and Social Security number in mid-September. Whoever created the account had not yet filed any vouchers, but a DWD customer service representative told me it was likely just a matter of time.”

Segall was amazed that he could be a victim of this without ever filing a claim. Here is what Segall did next:

It took me about eleven hours to get ahold of all three state unemployment offices to report the fraudulent claims and accounts in my name; to contact the Equifax, Transunion and Experian credit bureaus to initiate a year-long credit freeze; to speak with law enforcement agencies in all three states and to file a police report in Indiana; to file a stolen identity report with the Federal Trade Commission; and to reach US Bank and Wells Fargo to deactivate the debit cards and fraudulent bank accounts opened in my name.

Fortunately Segall was able to take care of his issue while being unemployed. But most others are not so lucky. It is nothing less than a travesty of justice and fiscal irresponsibility that after all these years the state of Indiana continues to have such a colossal wreck of a state unemployment system. We all remember back in 2012 when Paul Ogden and the late, great Gary Welsh wrote about how whistleblowers at the state pointed out how mismanagement at DWD contributed to the insolvency of Indiana’s UI Trust Fund. As well as the awarding of a contract to DWD to a company that the then head of IT at DWD Roy Templeton had a financial stake in which Gary and Paul also reported on. 

What must be done is the management and DWD as well as Governor Eric Holcomb need to be forced by the citizens of the state to actually do their damn jobs! Also the United States Department of Labor needs to get off it’s ass and reign in DWD once and for all! Yes we have heard excuses that USDOL has bigger problems to deal with. That is complete and utter nonsense! As is the inaction of the US Attorneys Office in Indianapolis regarding corruption and white collar crime here in Indiana. Take for example their refusal to look into Governor Eric Holcomb’s shady deal to attempt to get an Amazon distribution center moved to Indiana which we wrote about previously on this blog.
Here is what we all suggest reach out to DWD and Governor Holcomb and let them know that this continuing waste and mismanagement of taxpayer money will not be tolerated! Here’s the email addresses and some phone numbers for you all to call and complain. Don’t just call and leave messages, or send emails. Call them every 15 minutes! Also call and email your state legislators and voice your displeasure. Here’s the contact information for you all!
Let the Games Begin!

Governor Eric Holcomb:

Office of the Governor is located at 200 W. Washington St., Rm. 206, Indianapolis, IN  46204

Phone Number: 317-232-4567

To send an email click on: http://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm  then select " To contact the governor with questions or comments unrelated to the above, click here."

Reach Governor Holcomb on Twitter:


Reach Eric on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GovHolcomb/

Reach out and leave a message for Eric on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmcggUX5rA1za_ya16joSKA

Or go to his Instagram Page:


To give DWD a piece of your minds:

Indiana DWD Benefit Call Center:
1-800-891-6499 (M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm EST)

DWD Mailing address:
Department of Workforce Development
10 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

DWD Fax:
(317) 633-7206

DWD emails & phone #’s where available:
Commissioner Fred Payne - Send DWD Commissioner Fred Payne your thoughts, complaints, gripes to this address:

Commissioner Fred Payne


Department of Workforce Development
10 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Or by email: FPayne@dwd.IN.gov

Chief of Staff Josh Richardson - JRichardson@dwd.IN.gov 


Chief Communications Officer Bob Birge - RBirge@dwd.IN.gov


To find your state legislators go to this website:


Monday, March 8, 2021

Victims of Unemployment Fraud Forced to Fight Indiana’s Workforce Development System

As if here in honest to goodness Indiana the state isn’t being run badly enough, the Hoosier state’s ineptly run Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is doing it’s part to cause more unnecessary pain and anguish to Indiana taxpayers. Back on February 4th, 2021 Bob Segall over at WTHR reported on how the state is failing to provide adequate customer service to those who are the victims of unemployment insurance fraud.

Segall reports

For many Hoosiers who find themselves out of work because of COVID-19, getting laid off has not been the most frustrating aspect of the pandemic.

“As of September 1, we were all out of jobs,” said Erin Fisher-Leser, a compliance specialist who was laid off this fall by an Indianapolis travel management company. “There I was, filing for unemployment for the first time in a really, really long time, and when I tried to file online, I was locked out of the system.”

Yvonne Matlock tells the same story. The pandemic triggered job cuts at the healthcare facility where she worked as a fundraiser. And even though Yvonne received a severance package, former co-workers encouraged her to begin the process of establishing an account with the state unemployment office.

“My last day of employment was Nov. 6,” she told 13News. “Right away I got online to set up my account and it said I already had an account. I couldn’t even set anything up. I knew something was wrong.”

Erin and Yvonne quickly discovered why they could not set up accounts to file unemployment claims with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development: somebody had already beat them to it.

“Someone had opened an account on the 29th of June under my previous married name of over 30 years ago. They also set up bank account routing information,” Erin said.

“Someone filed a claim using my Social Security number in Philadelphia,” Yvonne explained. “I’ve never lived in Philadelphia in my life, so when I talked to someone at the unemployment office, I said ‘No, that’s not me.’”

Yvonne and Erin are victims of a widespread cyber fraud scheme that has diverted tens of billions of dollars in unemployment assistance away from the laid-off workers who need it most. It is happening all across the country. But here in Indiana, state officials are hesitant to discuss the scope of the problem, and 13 Investigates has discovered Indiana’s unemployment system often revictimizes the unemployed workers it is supposed to help.

Segall goes onto report that Yvonne and Erin have spent countless hours trying to email and call DWD and speak to the Fraud Investigators or someone to help get these issues resolved so they can collect unemployment. But as Yvonne said: “I feel like they don’t care, that they just really don’t care,” Yvonne told 13News. “When you call, you get a different person every time. It’s like you’re not even a number to them. You’re just a person on the other end of the phone,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.

Unfortunately as Segall reports Yvonne and Erin are some of only many, many victims of unemployment insurance fraud:

“This is the largest cyber attack in terms of fraud in American history. Period,” said Blake Hall, a security expert who founded ID.me, a company that is now helping Indiana DWD and other state unemployment offices fend off massive amounts of fraud. “You have organized crime rings from Russia, from China, from Nigeria, from Ghana, as well as a lot of domestic identity thieves, and they’re all working together on the dark web. They’re sharing information about how each state works to defraud the state, and they just follow a playbook.”

Now of course Bob Segall and WTHR have tried to contact DWD directly and speak with them about the issues that the state is having with unemployment insurance fraud, but as has been the custom since the election of “Godfather” Governor Mitch Daniels, DWD refuses to be transparent with we the people:

13 Investigates contacted DWD in early December 2020 to ask how big this problem is across Indiana. Specifically, 13News asked how many fraudulent unemployment claims the department had received, how much of the $6.48 billion in 2020 unemployment payouts went to con artists trying to scam Indiana’s PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) program, and the steps DWD takes when it determines that an unemployment claim has been filed by an individual using another person’s Social Security number.

It appears Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development either doesn’t know the answers to those questions or will not publicly release the information. Two months after receiving WTHR’s request submitted under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act, DWD has not answered any of 13News’ questions and has repeatedly refused to meet with 13 Investigates to discuss the issue.

On Jan. 7, DWD spokesman Bob Birge told 13News “I hope to have some answers for you shortly,” and when asked again a week later, Birge wrote “Will check on your APRA request.” He has not responded since. The governor’s office also declined a request for an interview.

Segall also points out that “ state officials in Colorado, Ohio and Colorado are willing to openly discuss their unemployment fraud numbers, state leaders in Indiana have, so far, chosen not to release that type of information.”

It appears though that Segall and 13 News have gotten someone’s attention at DWD because DWD Commissioner Fredrick Payne decided to come down from his thrown and actually say something to Segall:

“We’ve become targets of fraudsters and scammers,” Payne said while discussing the state’s unemployment program during the governor’s weekly COVID-19 virtual press conference. “Seventy-one percent of current PUA claims have fraud indicators that require additional investigation.”

Since the DWD Commissioner refused to given any concrete information about the extend of the fraud issues with Indiana’s Unemployment System, Segall and WTHR obtained a list of identity theft complaints related to unemployment fraud from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

Segall goes onto say: 

According to the AG’s data, the first unemployment identity theft complaints in Indiana came in late April, just a few weeks after DWD implemented the federal PUA program. In June, the AG’s office received 14 complaints of identity theft linked to unemployment claims. By December, Hoosiers were filing more than 550 complaints per month – a nearly 4,000% increase.

So what is DWD doing to combat the increased unemployment fraud? Well for the answer to that you will have come back for tomorrow’s blog post where we will be discussing this issue more in depth. Till tomorrow this is the Indy Republican crew signing off.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Former Johnson County Prosecutor Beats His Girlfriend But Might Get their Law License Back

In addition to avoiding jail time for beating and confining his then girlfriend, former Johnson County Indiana Prosecutor Bradley Cooper may someday practice law again in Indiana. On February 3rd, 2021 WISH-TV reported on Cooper’s law license suspension:

Bradley Cooper, the former Johnson County prosecutor, has had his law license suspended for four years by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Cooper avoided jail time with a plea agreement in 2019 after brutally beating and confining his girlfriend. He also stole her cell phone and pretended to be her in messages, then conducted media interviews where he accused her of attacking him.

The attack happened in March 2019. He agreed to plea guilty the following month and was sentenced in June 2019.

We read the copy of the Supreme Courts decision to not permanently disbar Cooper from the practice of law. The decision reads like typical bullshit reasoning to avoid fully holding a former public official accountable for his actions. This part is particularly interesting as to why the court decided to show some undeserved leniency to Cooper: 

 “Respondent has taken meaningful and substantial steps to address his alcohol use disorder and anger management issues. Respondent also has accepted responsibility in both his criminal and disciplinary proceedings for his deplorable acts, he has been compliant with the terms of his criminal probation, and his testimony at the final hearing reflects a degree of insight and remorse that distinguishes him, however modestly, from some other similarly-situated respondents.”

“ While these after-the-fact measures do not mitigate the misconduct itself, which was reprehensible, they do point to Respondent’s potential for rehabilitation and narrowly persuade us that the door to Respondent’s legal career should not be permanently and irrevocably closed.”

Or in plain English the court is saying: “Yes Cooper is a scumbag, who we should throw the book at. But because he hasn’t beaten or confined anyone else forcibly in two years, and because  he was a county prosecutor we will invent a totally bullshit reason to let him possibly practice law again. Seeing as how he is part of the good old boy network.”

As Gary Welsh used to say: “Sometimes justice works in mysterious ways.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson Is Calling It Quits

Secretary of State Connie Lawson 

Yesterday the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson has announced she will be resigning from her office in the near future.

The IBJ reported

Lawson did not specify an exact date when she would step down but said the resignation would take place when Gov. Eric Holcomb “selects a successor and the successor is ready to serve.”

Lawson, 71, is the longest-serving secretary of state in Indiana history. She was appointed to the office by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels in March 2012 and was elected in 2014 and 2018.

“I have dedicated the last 32 years of my life to public service,” Lawson said in written remarks. “I have served with all of my heart and soul. It has been an honor to serve, but it is time for me to step down. Like many Hoosiers, 2020 took a toll on me. I am resigning so I can focus on my health and my family.”

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Lawson served in the Indiana Senate for 16 years. In 2006, she was selected as the first woman to serve as majority floor leader in the Senate.

Before joining the Indiana Senate, Lawson served as clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court for eight years.

The article goes onto mention that Lawson has not given an exact timeframe as to when she will be resigning. Governor Eric Holcomb showered Lawson with so much excessive praise you would think he was talking about Saint Mary:

“Indiana’s own Iron Lady, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, has long defined what true public service and leadership is and ought to be all about,” he said. “Throughout her time in county, legislative and statewide office, she set the standard for commitment, composure, class and credibility. No matter the year or issues of the day, citizens could bank on Connie Lawson leading the way and inspiring others to follow.

“A trailblazer, holder of state records, even serving alongside three Governors as Secretary of State, through it all, Connie has remained universally respected by veterans and the next generation alike.”

Not everyone would agree with the praise heaped on Lawson by Governor Holcomb. We have previously made mention of Lawson’s ethical and possible legal shortcomings. Needless to say Lawson is not the most ethical woman around. There are rumors swirling as to who Holcomb might appoint to replace Lawson.

The names we have heard so far thrown around are: Brandon Clifton who is Lawson’s chief of staff and deputy Secretary of State. Pacers Vice President Danny Lopez. And former congressional candidate and employee of the Secretary of State’s office. We have heard a few other names but these are the ones that stand out the most. If any of you out there have any insights or ideas as to what is driving Lawson’s resignation or who her replacement will be than contact us by email at 6vwts@notsharingmy.info, reach out to us on Twitter at @IndyRepublicanX, or fill out the contact form on the right side of the webpage of the blog.

Goodnight everyone and God Bless You All!