UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS: Director ‘Screws Iowans Out Of Benefits’

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A Senate democrat says a state director who is supposed to help the unemployed is instead, hurting them.

Some lawmakers say it’s a scandal within the state government. Now democrats are urging an investigation.

Democratic Senator Bill Dotzler of Waterloo is making some big allegations against Iowa Workforce Development director Teresa Wahlert.

Dotzler say Wahlert pressured state employees who judge unemployment compensation disputes to tip cases in favor of businesses.

Fellow democrat, Mike Gronstal, says he “cannot condemn in more firm words the actions of the director to instruct administrative law judges to screw Iowans out of their benefits.”

Senator Dozler first raised concerns about the director on Wednesday. He is asking the US Department of Labor to investigate the matter because the administrative law judges are federally funded positions.

Dotzler says he has spoken to several judges who Wahler says helped prepare businesses to win their unemployment cases.

House Speaker Craig Paulsen and Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix separately described the allegations as “Washington D.C. style politics” and questioned the timing as gubernatorial campaigning gets underway.

Sen. Dix added, “We have a legislative oversight committee. It’s in the code of Iowa and it is charged with the responsibility of looking into matters such as this.”

A Branstad/Reynolds campaign staffer said in a release that the allegations are “baseless, sophomoric and political.”

No date has been set for a legislative oversight committee hearing on the matter.


  • KIm F.

    I know I was robbed. Twice.Both times while Branstad was in office. Once even when I had proof the judge would not hear it and I lost my case. I went both times losing a safety net and ending up on the streets. Thank God for the help of my mom and dad. I lost all faith in this state and court system. Gov Branstad needs to be voted out of office this fall!!Hes no different than Chris Christie. A bullie.

  • James Bong

    Judges always side with the packing houses in this state. Thats part of the game for a judge here in Iowa. They do it in order to move up to bigger and better things in the state.Thats how the boss wants it.

    • William Denison

      Your right James about the packing houses always winning their cases. When ya don’t know or speak english and cannot afford a lawyer your easy pray for corrupt judges. People are coming out of these places crippled for life and then get thrown away like a bad piece of meat by the state. Often with nowhere to go they drift until they can find work their bodys can still do for a few bucks a day. Life under Republincan rule.

  • Kenny

    I wonder what is going to happen to all the people that got skrewed? Just write it off as tuff luck. It’s going to take 6 months to pay the bills that got behind waiting to get cheated by corruptness!

  • Shane B

    I’m sure that those of us who were “screwed” will be forgotten about. Even though I will be paying for it for years to come. I actually had my tax return withheld to pay back the money that I was cheated out of! It’s pretty sad that the only chance you have in a dispute is if you have money in the first place!?!? I didn’t, so I got NOTHING!!! Thank you to all the Republicans that voted that hypocrite piece of crap into the Governors office! He is really looking out for the “little guys” best interest!

  • chris

    I was referred to Workforce Development Center to help me receive my last week’s pay from a person in which I was contracted workforce told me to file a claim for unemployment because they had treated me like an employee I file a claim they did a field audit. they ruled in my favor an award and me unemployment benefitsbut then they appealed and you I guessed it. It went to an admin judge and it was overturned

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