State Rep. David Martin of Davison today issued the following statement after the Michigan House adopted his resolution calling for the resignation of Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the troubled Unemployment Insurance Agency:
“The unemployment agency has been riddled with problems since Liza Estlund Olson took over as director, and she has done little to find solutions for the people the agency has failed.
“Last month – 18 months into the pandemic and 10 months into Director Estlund Olson’s tenure – the agency still had a backlog of 20,000 Michigan workers who were waiting to receive payments. The agency knowingly paid out benefits to ineligible recipients for months after failing a federal monitoring report last winter, and then sowed fear and confusion by sending 700,000 people a letter mentioning the possibility of back payments. And after blaming multiple failures over the past year and a half on a third-party vendor, this director and the governor quietly worked together to extend that same vendor’s contract for another year. These are just a few examples of the disfunction and incompetence exhibited by the unemployment agency over the last year.
“Changes clearly need to be made from the top down to deliver better service to Michigan workers. Liza Estlund Olson’s resignation is long overdue.”
State Rep. David Martin today vowed to continue fighting for accountability and change at the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency after a new report revealed the agency paid out an estimated $8.5 billion to fraudulent claims during the pandemic.