The VA is festival of fraud, waste and incompetence, even after years of promises of reform from the ruling class, it’s a disgrace to the nation and to the veterans they are supposed to be serving.
Via Daily Caller:
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) bosses fired an employee for reporting a hospital lost 30 of its 88 vehicles and official credit cards intended for the fleet had been misused.
Robert Benkeser, manager at the Greater Los Angeles VA, fired whistle-blower Anthony Salazar after Salazar tried to bring the theft to light. The department convened an “administrative investigation board” (AIB) that resulted in “a letter of counseling” to Benkeser for mismanaging the motor pool. Benkeser then fired Salazar several months later.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), a government-wide agency that protects whistle-blowers, said earlier this month that VA blocked Salazar from showing that he was being retaliated against. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) imposed “an overly rigorous” standard of proof to show prohibited retaliation.
“On Oct. 24, 2013, Mr. Salazar sent another email to Mr. Benkeser and his second-level supervisor, the Assistant Director for Administration and Facilities, about the continued problems with agency vehicle and fleet card usage. “Mr. Salazar described how 30 of the 88 agency vehicles were unaccounted for, explained how ten fleet cards were suspected of fraudulent purchases, and pressed the urgent need for the VA to get the situation under control,” OSC wrote.
Salazar was fired Feb. 4, 2015. The ease with which Salazar was fired — he was put on a “performance improvement plan,” told he didn’t meet the goals, then let go — stands in contrast to the many employees who unambiguously committed egregious misconduct and are still on the job.
For example, two felons work in management at the San Juan VA hospital, and a worker in the security office came to work each day with a GPS monitor because she had taken part in an armed robbery, which a spokesman said was irrelevant since it occurred off-duty. At another VA hospital, a nurse’s aide remains on the payroll as he awaits a manslaughter trial in the beating death of a patient.