Attorney John Morgan offers to recover $77 million for Florida's busted unemployment site

“We were sold a lemon,” Morgan said, a more polite phrasing than many have used, offering pro bono legal work.

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Attorney John Morgan offers to recover $77 million for Florida's busted unemployment site
PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE

Trial lawyer John Morgan tweeted late Tuesday that he wanted to help claw back the $77 million the state spent on its unemployment website.

Morgan, calling it an “offer that cannot be refused,” offered to put his “business trial team” to work recovering the money.

“Our unemployment system is broken because we had a computer system broken starting day one,” Morgan said.

“We were sold a lemon,” Morgan said, a more polite phrasing than many have used, offering pro bono legal work.

Morgan does not lay the blame with Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom he says is doing “a hell of a job.”

While it is uncertain if the Governor will seek legal action beyond the Inspector General investigation he urged earlier this week, he has been making a case to media that he was led to believe CONNECT worked well when it didn’t.

“We were in a situation where this thing was totally shot,” the Governor said to Sarasota reporters Tuesday about the $77 million CONNECT website.

The Governor said Monday there would be an Inspector General probe of the spending and the lack of apparent safeguards in site development.

DeSantis noted the site was contracted in 2011, with “multiple amendments.”

“The engineers I talked to said for that type of money, [the site] doesn’t fit the bill,” the Governor noted.

DeSantis previously called the site a “jalopy … designed to fail.”

In most media appearances, the Governor has laid the blame on those who came before him, including Ken Lawson, the appointed head of the Department of Economic Opportunity, whose stewardship of the unemployment system did not prepare it for what has hit since March.

The Governor described difficulties in replacing the site, which could have taken a year, as well as a way to “go around the system by hand” that was also a non-starter.

If Morgan launched a recovery action, it would pit the state against the politically-connected Deloitte, which won the bid and developed the site early last decade.


This story originally appeared at Florida Politics

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