Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Banker Collects Unemployment Benefits While Touring Europe

And that's not the worse part. Then he's eventually hired to head the agency that cut jobless benefits for everybody else! And there's more! Read on...

Hunting Deutsch worked at Bank United for 35 years and was an Executive Vice president at the bank when it failed in May 2009.

Bank United was reconstituted by new investors with the help of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) at a cost of $4.9 billion to the taxpayers, making it the second-costliest bank failure of the Great Recession.

At the time of his layoff in 2009, Hunting Deutsch owned a house in Santa Rosa Beach valued at $602,409 and a Miami condo worth $573,750.

While out of work Hunting Deutsch received unemployment compensation benefits from 2009 to 2011, collecting for 99 weeks. And while he was unemployed, he also traveled overseas to Europe.

Deutsch remained out of work until April 2012, until he was hired by Florida governor Rick Scott to head the DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity), a Florida state agency that's responsible for processing jobless benefits. Deutsch was hired for an annual salary of $140,000 a year.

Deutsch told the newspaper, The Florida Current, “I’m fortunate enough where I’ve worked for very successful companies for a long period of time and luckily sold all my bank stocks -- most of them at the right time and at the right price -- and quite frankly, I didn’t have to work. So my wife and I took time off and traveled a good bit; we were in Europe several times."

Florida Governor Rick Scott's DEO is call the stingiest jobless benefits system in the country. Florida lawmakers reduced the maximum number of weeks of jobless benefits from 26 to 23.

While under Hunting Deutsch's leadership, those receiving state unemployment checks will now max out at 19 weeks because joblessness has declined to 8.7 percent, from an 11.4 percent high in January 2010.

At the same time, state lawmakers reduced the taxes for unemployment insurance that businesses have to pay.

Other new changes enacted by the Florida state legislators include requiring most jobless applicants  to apply online, to take a "skills test", and to contact at least five employers each week to show they are looking for work.

Florida lawmakers also made it easier for employers to challenge unemployment claims. Florida now has a recipiency rate (the ratio of unemployed workers receiving benefits) of 16 percent, the lowest in the nation.

From the Huffington Post's DAILY DELANEY DOWNER, "After the Florida Current started asking how such a well-off guy could be such a loafer, and whether there was something weird about him overseeing a notoriously mean state unemployment system, the guy resigned. No word on whether he'll sign up for the reading and math tests his former agency now requires unemployed people to take in order to be eligible for benefits."

After the uproar, Hunting Deutsch handed in his resignation at the Department of Economic Opportunity on December 4, 2012. He shouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits this time because he wasn't laid off.


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