Sep 24 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has sent a letter to Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Secretary Bob McDonald calling for immediate action to remove the VA employees who were found to have abused their positions, mistreated their coworkers, and disrespected veterans and their families. With the passage of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act this summer, Congress empowered the VA Secretary with the ability to more readily terminate employees for poor performance and misconduct – yet no action has been taken.
“There has been no shortage on news stories and investigations exposing employees – particularly managers – at the VA who engages in objectionable and outrageous behaviors that must never be tolerated for anyone in public service,” Sen. Moran wrote in a letter to Secretary McDonald along with nine of his Senate colleagues. “…Yet, more than a month since the President signed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act into law on August 7, the Department has yet to use its authority to fire senior officials and administrators for poor performance and unethical conduct… Americans expect and deserve immediate action from the VA to demonstrate the culture and expectations at the Department are changing.”
Click here to read Sen. Moran’s entire latter to VA Sec. McDonald calling for the removal of those who endangered the health and lives of veterans.
A call for accountability at the VA also came this week from the National Commander of the American Legion Michael D. Helm, of Norcatur, Kansas, in a separate letter to President Obama on Sept. 18, 2014, which called for corrupt managers within the agency to be “fired immediately.”
“The only way those culpable will get their just desserts, and credibility will be restored to the thousands of VA employees who really deserve it, is for you to demand that those who caused this scandal, and those who oversaw it and did nothing, be fired and removed from government,” said National Commander Helm said in a letter sent to President Obama. “Let me assure you that if someone on my staff were found to be cooking the books, committing fraud or putting career ambitions ahead of veterans’ lives, they wouldn’t be transferred or suspended with pay. They would be fired immediately. Our VA employees should be held to the same standard.”
Click here to read the full letter from the American Legion National Commander to President Obama.
Sen. Moran has been a member of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees for 18 years, chaired the Health Subcommittee in the House for two years, and has worked with nine VA Secretaries. Sen. Moran was the first Senator to call for Secretary Shinseki to resign amidst ongoing systemic dysfunction within the VA system.
Newly-elected National Commander Helm is a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran was elected to represent the legion as national commander on August 28, 2014. Commander Helm is touring American Legion posts throughout Kansas and across the nation. He recently completes more than 15 visits in Kansas and visited with veterans about issues ranging from VA health care to national security.
- 9.22.14 Letter to VA Sec McDonald on Firings - (401.1 KBs)