VA Whistleblowers Still Face Retaliation Despite Agency’s Pledge To Stop Punishments, Workers Say
A group of employees testified at a Senate hearing about a "culture of fear" at the Department of Veterans Affairs and said that little has changed for those who speak up about wrong doing or violations.
The Associated Press:
Whistleblowers: VA Inspector General A 'Joke'
The Department of Veterans Affairs continues to retaliate against whistleblowers despite repeated pledges to stop punishing those who speak up, a group of employees said Tuesday. One called the department's office of inspector general a "joke." VA whistleblowers from across the country told a Senate committee that the department has failed to hold supervisors accountable more than a year after a scandal that broke over chronic delays for veterans seeking medical care and falsified records covering up the waits. (Daly, 9/23)
The Washington Post:
VA Culture Of Reprisals Against Whistleblowers Remains Strong After Scandal
But testimony at a Senate hearing Tuesday demonstrated that despite vigorous efforts from the new VA leadership, the department remains a dangerous place for whistleblowers who report wrong doing. ... Christopher Kirkpatrick was a VA psychologist and whistleblower who complained about over-medication of patients at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin when he committed suicide in 2009. His brother, Sean Kirkpatrick, spoke for him at the hearing. “Our brother felt helpless and hopeless with the obstacles he encountered at the Tomah VA Medical Center,” Sean Kirkpatrick told the hearing. “He wanted to improve the quality of care for our nation’s veterans through holistic options and continuously questioned the over-medication practices which hindered his ability to treat his patients. (Davidson, 9/22)