From The Washington Times:
The VA has yet to fire or punish the senior managers in Phoenix who retaliated against whistleblowers who revealed massive dysfunction at the department, despite an internal audit from more than a year ago that said the two executives deserved to be “appropriate administrative action” or firing.
Reports obtained by The Washington Times show the Veterans Affairs Office of Accountability Review said Dr. Darren Deering, chief of staff the VA’s Phoenix facility, lashed out at Dr. Katherine Mitchell after she reported the secret wait lists that ignited a national scandal last year, putting her on administrative leave and eventually forcing her to flee her job.
Investigators also concluded Lance Robinson, the hospital’s associate director, retaliated against Paula Pedene, a legally blind public affairs officer at the hospital, who was stripped of her duties, forced to give up her work email and cell phone with no notice and sent away to work in the basement library after reporting misuse of hospital money to higher-ups.
Dr. Deering remains on the job in Phoenix while Mr. Robinson has been removed from his position but has been collecting full paid leave since May 2014, pending the investigation.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were stunned that the VA had ignored its own internal recommendations for so long, saying it was a black mark against a department already struggling to show it can be accountable.
“The fact that VA’s top leaders have likely known about these issues for more than a year and haven’t acted on the…