Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rich FL jobs czar got unemployment benefits on European vacations

Here's an idea for a new Florida license plate motto: "Comically Corrupt."

We were inspired by a terrific headline from The Huffington Post:
Hunting Deutsch, Rick Scott's 'Jobs Czar', Resigns Over Collecting Unemployment During European Vacations
First: Hunting Deutsch? Sounds like a friend of Montgomery Burns. But he's a Panhandle banker with two homes worth more than $1 million.

Second: He's Florida Gov. Rick Scott's second jobs czar. Scott's first jobs czar, Doug Darling, quit after eight months. The Miami Herald gives us the probable reason:
Controversy found its way to Darling's doorstep in November after he told Florida news outlets that millions of dollars were shelled out to Florida businesses in the form of financial incentives to create jobs, but they hadn't fulfilled the terms of their contracts.
Third: This is where it gets really good. Deutsch oversaw Florida's unemployment insurance program -- which is not only the stingiest in the nation, but which requires recipients to be available to work. According to the Florida Current:
Hunting Deutsch, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, received more than $25,000 of unemployment benefits for 91 weeks between 2009 and 2011 -- eight weeks shy of the maximum at the time of 99 weeks of benefits. 
The Panhandle banker who owns two homes in Florida worth more than $1.1 million, traveled to Europe often while he was receiving benefits and told The Florida Current this month that he “didn’t need to work.” He was hired to head DEO, a state agency with more than 2,000 employees, in April 2012 at an annual salary of $140,000.
Then fourth, there's his hilarious explanation (from the Associated Press):
(It)  gave him insights into Florida's unemployment compensation program.
Fifth, this figures: According to The Huffington Post, he was working as jobs czar because he got fired from  BankUnited, which failed in 2009 and was seized by federal regulators.

You just can't make this stuff up.