PA labor chief says police are probing hotline problems

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 29, 2013 11:34 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's labor secretary says problems with the state's hotline for jobless benefits are improving, and that state police are investigating whether the system was sabotaged.

Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway has told a legislative committee she considers the phone system "largely fixed" and expects to see call volume continue to drop.

Calls to the state unemployment compensation centers skyrocketed in September to 8 million, up from about 900,000 a year earlier. Those calls exceeded 15 million in November, but were down to less than seven million last month.

Hearthway says police were notified because of the volume of calls, and there were questions about where they originated. She says it's not clear whether police will be able to say if sabotage was involved.

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