The Current VA Scandal: Why is the Wolf Allowed to Guard the Henhouse?

Two days ago, a Miami, FL VA Police Officer, Detective Thomas Fiore decided he had seen enough corruption, enough drug dealing and enough cover-ups. Detective Fiore put his job on the line to become yet another whistleblower on his bosses at the VA. He publicly ‘outed’ his bosses’ utter disregard for the criminal activity going on at the Miami VA Medical Center. He did so, knowing full well that it may have been his last day at work. His story is below, courtesy of CBS Miami.

As a result of another VA whistleblower, Dr. Sam Foote’s exposure of the “secret lists” at the Phoenix VA Medical Center, Congress has forced investigations at 146 of the VA’s 152 medical facilities.  As of today, over 26 VA medical facilities are under investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General.

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Multiple VA employees, who have been “caught,” have been put on “paid leave” during these investigations.  They still receive their paychecks, benefits and clock towards retirement. All the while, veterans are still waiting for appointments, still dying without care and still waiting on their claims to be adjudicated.

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There lies the rub…the VA OIG provides their reports to Congress, but still answers to the VA Central Office. VA Police are Federal law enforcement, but are in fear of retaliation or worse because they too answer directly to the VA. 

Veterans Advocates, such as VeteranWarriors, have long known about the system-wide malfeasance, dereliction of duty and downright criminal activity at the VA – both the health care facilities and the benefits offices, for over a decade.  Yet countless investigations, recommendations and audits have produced almost no tangible change to the way the VA does business.

The only way we will get to the truth is to start with the assumption that the people who have broken laws are going to try to hide it; just like all other criminals in the world. We must demand that Congress stop allowing the wolf to guard the hens. It is time for the Department of Justice to step in and initiate a full-scale, enterprise wide investigation.

It is time to stop rewarding these criminals and derelicts with paid vacations, (also known as “paid leave”), transfers out of their messes and any chance at continued employment by the U.S. taxpayer.

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