State appeals unemployment fraud case to Supreme Court

    Michigan Supreme Court, March 22, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    The state of Michigan appealed this week a case to the state Supreme Court from victims of faulty unemployment fraud claims.

    A Michigan Court of Appeals panel last month ruled that the case, Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency, could go forward. More than 40,000 people were falsely accused of fraud by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) between 2013 and 2015 and are seeking damages.

    In an appeal filed Thursday by Deputy Solicitor General Eric Restuccia, the state argued that the lawsuit potentially would “allow for the violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine by permitting courts to authorize sizable [sic] awards of money damages without legislative authorization.”

    Michigan unemployment system victims to get their day in court

    State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) said the Legislature should take action to financially compensate victims.

    “The Legislature admitted the state’s wrongdoing in the Unemployment Insurance crisis when we passed a sweeping reform to prevent it from happening again,” he said. “The Legislature should have acted to make Michiganders fiscally whole long ago, and inaction is no longer an option. Leadership should work swiftly to ensure financial restoration is given to these families who have faced real harm because of the state’s error.”

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.