Kentucky Governor Forced To Apologize To Man Named Tupac Shakur After Claiming His Unemployment Application Was Fake

Governor Of Kentucky Andy Beshear was forced to apologize to a man named Tupac Shakur after using him as an example of people taking advantage of the state's unemployment benefits system by using fake names.

During a press conference on Monday, the Republican ousted people submitting fake unemployment claims to the state's system using names he believed were fake.

He blamed the state's slow disbursement of unemployment benefits on people who he said were clogging the system with fake applications.

"Unfortunately, it's going to take a bit of time with these because a couple of bad apples can make this challenge that much more difficult. For instance, we had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky," Beshear said during a press conference.

"That person probably thought they were being funny, except for the fact that because of them, we have to go through so many other claims. One person thinking they were funny, using someone else's identity is going to make tens of thousands of other people wait. That's not OK. We can't be doing that, and we shouldn't be doing that," he added.

However, Beshear was quickly forced to apologize after learning there's a man in Kentucky named Tupac Shakur who filed an unemployment claim and was not happy to have his name dragged through the mud.

While the story attempted to serve as a funny anecdote, it was very serious for the 44-year-old who goes by Malik and lives in Lexington.

He told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he was working as a cook at a restaurant called Alfalfa’s and Lynagh’s before the state shut down restaurants to stop the spread of COVID-19. Shakur applied for unemployment benefits on March 13 and got a monetary determination letter four days later.

Since then he has been waiting for his check with no response.

“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said.

“I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked. He needs to apologize. That’s just my name,” he added.

After speaking with Shakur, the Lexington Herald-Leader gave his phone number to the governor's office to prove that he actually existed.

Beshear was forced to personally call Shakur and apologize for the unfair characterization and unnecessary criticism of a legitimate unemployment claim.

“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot. Mistakes happen,” Shakur told the Lexington Herald-Leader, adding that he changed his name to Tupac Shakur after his father died and he became a Muslim.

Local news outlet WXII12 reported that Beshear's office released a statement about the fiasco.

"This morning, Gov. Beshear called Mr. Shakur to apologize. The Office of Unemployment Insurance is working to resolve the claim," a statement read from Beshear's staff that was sent to WXII12.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, unemployment claims in Kentucky have skyrocketed with over 280,000 claims filed in March, according to WXII12.

Beshear has faced criticism for the slow release of unemployment benefits and said during the press conference that at least 70,000 claims would be paid out by Tuesday. Another 30,000 claims from March are slated to be sent out by the end of the week, the governor said during the press conference. 
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