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Lawmaker hopes lawsuit against Deloitte will shed light on IDES issues

SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) - A St. Clair County woman has sued the consulting company behind the recent data breach in Illinois' unemployment system. Now, a Southern Illinois lawmaker says there may be more lawsuits coming.

Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) hopes the case against Deloitte will shed light on issues within the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Bryant was the first person to notify the Pritzker administration of the data breach after a constituent found personal information while applying for unemployment.

The department claims she was the only person who saw a spreadsheet containing personal information of other claimants, but Bryant says that can't be true. IDES released a statement May 22 stating, "there is no indication that any personal information was, or will be, improperly used."

The department alerted 32,483 claimants possibly affected "out of abundance of caution." However, Bryant explains several people have called her office to report their private information was compromised.

"I want IDES to stop saying that it was only one person and start telling us the truth," Bryant said. "Until that happens, I'm not going to believe one word that comes out of the mouth of any official at IDES no matter how good or honest that individual is."

Bryant says someone must be covering up a larger data breach, because some people applying through the state's normal unemployment system have seen their social security number stolen. Deloitte is facing lawsuits from people impacted by a similar data breach in Ohio.

"You should know what's going on."

The downstate Republican says Gov. JB Pritzker has to react as soon as possible. "I do think the governor has been insulated by many of the staff he has, but I'm not sure. I would like to think that they're not telling him everything and that he's maybe not understanding some of what's going on in his own administration. I'd like to believe that," Bryant exclaimed. "But then, the other part of me says you're the CEO of the state. You should know what's going on."

Bryant says the buck stops with the governor and top officials at IDES. Meanwhile, lawmakers are still waiting to see results from an audit of the agency that started prior to the pandemic. Bryant expects that information from Auditor General Frank Mautino in the next few weeks.

"I wish the governor would get a little bit more hands on with this issue. If he does care about people working, he would be personally involved with what's going on."

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Mike Miletich

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