* CBS 2…
Arsons, bomb threats, and vandalism – we have been asking for months, and now for the first time, we are learning about the crimes keeping Illinois unemployment offices closed.
Jordan Abudayyeh, press secretary for Gov. JB Pritzker’s office, said in a statement that more two dozen “significant incidents” have been investigated at 12 Illinois unemployment offices in every region of the state since March 2020. […]
On Tuesday, CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov asked Pritzker when the offices will finally reopen.
“Shortly. As you know, we’ve had about 60 percent of our staff are completely back to work,” Pritzker said. “We’ve got the State Police assisting the agency to make sure that we’re doing it in the right way.”
* Full statement from Jordan Abudayyeh…
Since March of 2020 more than two dozen significant incidents have been investigated at 12 offices in every region of the state. Investigations range from acts of arson, vandalism, and bomb threats, among other acts of violence. Individuals have also shown up at IDES employees’ private residences threatening physical violence. This is in addition to countless threats made over phone, via email, and mail throughout the pandemic. Due to the pending investigations IDES is not able to share specific information.
As IDES has repeatedly said, the agency is working with colocated workforce partners on a phased reopening of offices by appointment this summer in a safe manner. Security plans and additional staff training are being put in place to ensure both staff and clients can accomplish their shared goals in a safe environment.
…Adding… This sort of thing is not unique to Illinois, either. From New Mexico…
The former leader of the state Workforce Solutions Department that oversees unemployment benefits said his resignation in April was linked to threatening messages and incidents at the agency and elsewhere, in a string of Twitter posts Thursday. […]
[Former Cabinet Secretary Bill McCamley] said his concerns about personal safety grew after a state-owned car was destroyed by an incendiary device and a possibly deranged man called the state labor agency to blame McCamley for unemployment problems and to ask for McCamley’s address.