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VA IG Attacked Whistleblowers

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  • VA IG Attacked Whistleblowers

    A top government watchdog on Thursday accused the central agency tasked with holding Veterans Affairs accountable of dropping the ball -- by failing to properly investigate whistleblower claims of secret wait lists at Shreveport, La., and Chicago hospitals where thousands of veterans languished up to 15 months without care.
    Further, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said the VA’s Office of Inspector General even tried to “discredit the whistleblowers” who brought the allegations by focusing on a narrow aspect of the case.
    “The OIG investigations that the VA submitted … are incomplete. They do not respond to the issues that the whistleblowers raised,” Lerner wrote to President Obama.
    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel reports directly to the president and investigates claims of whistleblower retaliation. It has no direct authority over the VA, but the letter sent to Obama and Congress on Thursday represents a stark challenge to the supposedly independent review conducted by the VA inspector general.
    Whistleblowers who originally brought the allegations – and themselves faced a criminal investigation by IG officials after coming forward -- told the OSC findings are “vindication” for them.

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