Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bloomberg after welfare recipient's Lotto winnings

From Eyewitness News:

There is an update on a story Eyewitness News brought you more than a year ago about a former welfare recipient who won the lottery, only to have half his winnings taken away by the state.

Not only did he recently gain a major court victory in his battle to get back his prize money, his case could result in millions of dollars being returned to others.

Last time we heard from Walter Carver, he was taking on Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's team of attorneys.

He is suing the city for taking half of his $10,000 in lottery winnings to reimburse the state for money he received years ago while on welfare. Under New York law, the state is entitled to half the winnings of any welfare recipient. That, plus taxes left Carver with a little more than $1,000 the day he went to claim his prize.

Carver says the state and city have no right to his lottery winnings, since during the three years he was on welfare, he worked 36 hours a week for his checks, washing floors on the Staten Island ferries. He sued, arguing that taking his winnings is a a violation of the Fair Labor act.

The U.S. District court ruled he had no case and moved to dismiss it. That's when the former sergeant in the Vietnam war and his attorney fired back by filing an appeal.

A few weeks ago, Carver and his attorney found out they won the appeal. The U.S. Circuit Court ruled that the lower court's dismissal was in error.

Eyewitness News has learned that since 2002, the state has intercepted $33 million in lottery winnings from welfare recipients, many of them having worked for their checks just like Carver. It is for them, he says, that he continues his David and Goliath battle against the city and state.


Anonymous said...

Only welfare recipients can afford lotto tickets!

Anonymous said...

"worked for their checks?" So what does that mean? Having 14 kids whiling selling crack on the side?

Anonymous said...

worked for their checks?" So what does that mean? Having 14 kids whiling selling crack on the side?

No - it means "workfare" not "welfare".

Anonymous said...

If the state is supplying the funds that are used to pay for lottery tickets as a welfare payment, the state is a joint venturer and is entitled to half the jackpot. This is clearly distinguishable from the situation where someone is a state employee.

Anonymous said...

Why the hate? The article said he worked 36 hours a week on the Staten Island Ferry as part of his welfare, meaning workfare. Is that not somewhat respectable? Would you prefer he stayed home and watched TV?

Anonymous said...

Would you prefer he stayed home and watched TV?

Thanks to Bill Clinton and Rudy G, he did not have a choice. If he wanted the check, he had to work.

Old White Woman said...

He worked 36 hours a week for his money. He should be allowed to keep his lottery prize.

Anonymous said...

You are missing the point! The state paid the guy because he was unemployable. Nobody would hire him and so he begged and applied for welfare or workfare or whatever you want to call it. It's not the same as a job. The state just finds something for them to do to justify the "free" money. There is no review or possibility of termination. That is then free money from the state!! Of course the government should share the prize if not take the whole thing. Imagine, we taxpayers give to the poor to buy food and instead they gamble it away. And you approve!!! Please save us.