Florida lawmaker calls for resignation of DEO director

Posted at 8:23 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 10:08:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A senator from Tampa is calling for Florida's Economic Opportunity director to step down after the overwhelming applications for unemployment crippled the claims website.

In a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis, Tampa senator Janet Cruz requested Ken Lawson resign from his duties as head of DEO.

The Senator said information on repairing the website has been poor while thousands struggle to file for benefits.

"We need leadership with integrity and communication with intention," Cruz said.

She added that she is "dismayed at the realization that Director Lawson is unable to fulfill those obligations."

Meanwhile, DEO's communications director and spokesperson Tiffany Vause reiterated the department is working to fix things.

"We have got our staff working day and night to not only answer the phones, but to process applications as quickly as possible," Vause said. "We are looking at every avenue we can to make this easier for Floridians and anticipate having more updates later next week."

While officials continue bolstering the website, Vause says the DEO will start offering paper claim applications on Friday.

They can be printed out and mailed in. The applications will also be available at unemployment offices across the state.