The Department of Veterans Affairs has long been a source of frustration and animosity on Capitol Hill. Ever since reports first broke years ago about corruption, insanely long wait lists and especially veterans dying while on those wait lists, Republicans have blasted the VA for not doing more.
Despite mismanaging taxpayer dollars and failing to adequately treat veterans in a timely and professional manner, nothing really changed for the people at the VA. They still had their jobs and no accountability for how they were performing them. That has changed.
The Daily Caller reported that President Trump’s Department of Veterans Affairs is without two employees this week and more heads will likely roll.
“Mr. DeWayne Hamlin was removed from federal service effective January 20, 2017,” the VA said. Hamlin was fired on inauguration day after he reportedly “offered an employee $305,000 to quit after she played a role in exposing his drug arrest.”
Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald previously selected Hamlin to “coach” other VA employees despite knowing of his problems. McDonald had noted that the training held at the Leaders Shaping Leaders event “is the number-one way to shape the agency’s culture.” Coaching and training are indeed quite effective. But do we want that culture shaped by an unrepentant criminal?
The other VA employee finally lose her job was Elizabeth Rivera. She had reportedly taken part in an armed robbery but was allowed to keep her job while in jail. Upon her release, she “continued to work in the hospital’s security office while wearing an ankle bracelet.” The VA justified that action by “claiming that it was impossible to fire employees for off-duty crimes.”
Her firing on Tuesday was reportedly based on her lack of disclosure of other arrests on her job application. Her background check missed that. The Daily Caller asserted that there are “numerous other felons on staff where that background is relevant” and suggested that Rivera’s firing may set a precedent for future firings.
The VA only “began a months-long investigative proceeding last year, after an outside agency, the Office of Special Counsel, prodded VA leadership.”
Source: The Daily Caller