Troubled VISN 23 Exec Received $100k In Bonuses

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VISN 23 Janet Murphy

Benjamin KrauseKARE 11 news has uncovered a large record fraud scandal within VISN 23 based in Minneapolis and headed by network director Janet Murphy. Murphy earned $535 shy of a cool $100k over the past 7 years in just bonuses on top of her staggering $176,000 per year salary, health care benefits, and sweet conference travel across the country.

I am all about doing a good job and getting paid well for it. After all, that is why I chose to fight for my country – to defend this way of life and the ability for a person to get compensated for a job well done. But that is not the case here with many VA senior executives.

Regarding Murphy and VA execs like her, with all that cash and a relaxing gig at VA where all your staff is practically above the law, what more could an executive want? You get an endless pit of money and you can treat your captive customers (desperately sick veterans) like crap or kill them with no worries?

To provide some context as to why I am pissed at Janet Murphy and her staff, I need to jump back a month. Back in September, I sat in on the VISN 23 town hall meeting last month. During the meeting, VISN 23 employees made light of serious concerns over poor spending choices and bad behavior towards veterans desperately seeking care. Not one national level politician was present, which may explain why VISN 23 officials felt comfortable cracking jokes in the face of the most serious government employee fraud scandal in history.

RELATED: Are All VA Town Hall Meetings A Sick Joke

Adding insult to injury, Murphy offered her number up to concerned attendees claiming she would answer any call about the issues. KARE 11 called her to discuss her outlandish bonus history in light of the shortcomings within the VA health care facilities she manages. She not only refused to respond, she had her staff proceed to route all inquires into the matter to her spin factory public affairs staff.

I guess Murphy’s version of truth may differ from that of Secretary Robert McDonald who recently saw to that 4 high level VA executives faced the axe after quickly confirming misdeeds at the expense of veterans, the law, and current ethics rules.

At the present, numerous elected officials are eyeballing legislation to forcefully revoke ill-gotten bonuses received through fraudulent scheduling and wait list schemes that were created to fraudulently increase performance numbers.

Should we pull the trigger on legislation to hold them accountable? I say “hell yeah!”

Murphy is not alone. According to numerous sources, including USA Today, VA execs were receiving a sweet amount of cash while blowing off their responsibilities. Current reports indicate many of these bonuses were tied to fraud schemes that will be sorted out. If there is one thing the federal government does well is extract funds from those who gained illegally.

RELATED: USA Today VA Exec Bonus Chart

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10 Comments

  1. Until they put in some laws with teeth in them, nothing is going to change. Exec’s who have committed fraud shouldn’t be allowed to put in for early retirement while under investigation for wrongful acts. They should be investigated and if found wrong, put on trial and face jail time. They should not be allowed any retirement benefits. Simply firing someone is not enough. I’m a disabled combat vet and I’ve been on the receiving end of bad behavior too many times in the past 45 years and nothing would please me more than to see one of these crooked executives standing at the bars of his jail cell like a bird in a cage!

  2. I received severance pay when I was medically discharged. After all my benefits were denied (illegally) I won a CUE claim. Even though it was only half completed, I received retro-benefits, and guess what? The first thing they did was recoup the severance pay. Tit For Tat, I’d say. Take back the bonuses!!!!!!! Then send ’em off to prison. If there is no real punishment, they will simply continue.

    • While it may be crappy for it to happen you Can’t blame the VA for the severence pay recoupment that is just a federal law that congress put into effect.

  3. The Buffalo DVA, also, should suffer severe sanctions; As late as December 10,2013, The Buffalo DVA denied my claim(s) for compensation (to include health care).The Buffalo DVA claimed that of government resources, including The Buffalo DVA intranet,
    the Buffalo DVA could not find qualifying record of my service in Vietnam having been exposed to agent orange (herbicides, etc.). Yet, I found it on the internet: The DVA January 2010 (yes,2010) Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211): Information on Vietnam Naval Operations; And, the June 2010 (yes,2010) Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211): ADDITIONAL Information on Vietnam Naval Operations. The January 2010 C & P Bulletin provides the…presumption of exposure…to the crew of ships that operated in rivers and “deltas” ( : ) The history of the USS Newport News CA-148 includes operations in the Mekong “DELTA” December 1968.THe June 2010 C & P Bulletin … ships list…, lists the USS Newport News for operations: Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969. Of early 2013, I sent the Buffalo DVA a list of ships (especially DD’s ) that operated on the Mekong Delta. July 2013, The USS Newport News was listed for only operations in the Mekong Delta December 1968. The (so-called) up-to-date 2014 ships list should also include: Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969. It was not until I provided the same information to DVA Attn: Nehmer Working Group (211A) Washington D.C. , the Buffalo DVA responded to “Substantive Evidence”. Now, The Buffalo DVA is of delay to respond to many issues and those issues rated. Also, in April 2014 (this year), I attended Buffalo DVA ordered medical examine that include Dr. Field to call up my records from my heart doctor and primary doctor. Of the DVA’s June 10,2014 Decision , The Buffalo DVA’s examiner indicates that a diagnosis my ischemic heart disease is as early as 2000. According to the Nehmer Training Guide, The Buffalo DVA had to pay the retro compensation within 21 days. When the Buffalo DVA did not answer my letter, I sent a letter to the Nehmer Working Group for an answer; The June 2010 C & P Bulletin includes itself as part of January 2010 C & P Bulletin. The Jan. 2010 C & P Bulletin clearly states: There is no reason for the DVA to hold the claims of anyone who served on the above listed vessels during the indicated time frames. The Buffalo DVA’s own appointed examiner made the diagnosis of my ischemic heart disease as early as 2000; so, what is the hold up ?Read the Nehmer Training Guide! OF The Buffalo DVA and the Nehmer Working Group, my claim to retro compensation is further being delayed by now having my claim go through the BOARD OF VETERANS APPEAL process. The Nehmer Court order dictates “priority” of Nehmer claims. Get the picture? The Nehmer Court order strictly followed , my claim would not have been denied in the first place ! THe Buffalo DVA owes retro. That should be of sanctions against the Buffalo DVA.

  4. You guys are exactly right, Jail time is the only way other employees will hesitate or think twice about harming veterans. Employees will even attack their fellow employees if they can gain from it and then their is the good old boy system, hire friends who will be loyal to them and do their dirty deeds and help cover up any wrong doings. I took an oath when I joined the service and again when I worked for the v.a., Every employee takes this oath and only does lip service to the oath. I was a union Rep and many of the cases I worked on was defending lower level employees that higher management accused them of something and when I would provide written regulations they would stop or remove their accuations. If the investigators would slow down and really look at the evidence or lack of evidence and take off the blinders, it would not be hard to see the wrongs committed. There is a law that if a veteran claims they have been wronged and the evidence is not clear, then the v.a. is to find infavior of the veteran. This law is being ignored. The v.a. loves yes men, who do not question their motives and do as they are told or face their rath (retalation). This is not just higher management, but also mid management who abuse the system. When an investigation happens the investigator needs to obtain the facts only and omitt the lip service from those being investigated. I seen first hand where the asst director was retireing and the v.a. hired his son, started him off as a file room supervisor for one year and then promoted from supervisor to Administrative Assistant and one year later to higher management and after complaints were filed they transfered him out to another v.a. as Asst Chief of medical administration, he by this time is asst. Director or Director of some v.a. If an employee is found guilty of doing something against the law they should be charged and if their are more that one helping the cover up, they should be found just a guilty and receive the same punishment for their part in the matter. There is a joke going around these United States is a mess, glad I live in America.

  5. My recent contact with the VISN program seemed at first that their staff would actually help. They were very polite and said they would follow up on my behalf. After a couple of days they showed their true colors and became hostile and intimidating like the VA has always done. A VA psychologist had been literally screaming at me and my wife on the phone when we tried to arrange for me to be seen for cancer screening about a large rapidly growing tumor on my back and other growths, and for PTSD care that the VA has been totally incompetent about. I finally got into a VA immediate care clinic that takes walk-ins where the VA screwed up further. The doctor who examined me told me and my wife that, “We just need to keep an eye on this tumor on your back and see what happens.” This is why vets get cancer and die, as in the several cases of vets waiting for care when at least a biopsy should be done to check if the tumor is malignant or if it is benign. Someone hopefully on this site will tell me if I have this wrong, but isn’t it ridiculous for this VA doctor to say he will send me to a VA plastic surgery clinic to get the tumor checked out properly, then immediately switch on me by saying “Let’s just take a look at it every couple of months”. The psychologist in this equation, about 3 weeks prior to this recent visit about the tumors, was yelling, talking over me and my wife (and my wife in particular who tried to reason with him was very calm and professional so there was no excuse at all for him to act so wild with her). He told us both that I am delusional and my views of reality don’t match the real world, and I don’t really have 100% service-connected ptsd, instead “you are flat out delusional and seriously mentally ill.” That is what military doctors and/or VA doctors used to say decades ago about PTSD instead of realizing the service member had been traumatized from very damaging hazardous duty in combat and other traumas in the service. So it’s like we go back to the stone age on cancer screening, the vet (me) and his wife gets humiliated and VISN staff pretend like they will do something but don’t. I guess I am delusional about the VA doctor telling me and my wife, and she is crazy too, that “We just like to keep an eye on tumors these days.” Are these people insane, as in are they the crazy ones, not me and my wife? You almost get the feeling they are trying to get me killed off with cancer or whatever it takes to get me dead so that is one left compensation payment to send out every month. No, that would be paranoid to think that, as in the paranoia that the psychologist accused me of having. Am I also paranoid about the documents, maybe I am hallucinating that they exist, that Senator John McCain sent to me that say I was 100% service-connect disabled for VA purposes starting in 1976, those exact words, but the VA hid that document from me, and why? to get out of paying me compensation? does firing 4 executives like McDonald did this week, and exposing this VISN director for corruption and financial fraud or whatever it is she did, does that remedy method apply to lower level psychologists and Medical doctors too? how big does the tumor on my back have to get and how long do I have to wait to get real medical care for it? my dd214 says right on it that my last duty station was a certain naval weapons station, and I handled and was expose to the most toxic materials and substances known to man there that certainly cause cancer and related tumors and cysts and such like the ones that I have had cut out by civilian doctors in the past since the VA never does anything about them. i was also heavily exposed in the field handling the things that the naval weapons station has in stock. what do I do now? I can’t afford civilian doctors and it really seems like the VA is trying to get me killed with all their games of incompetence.

    • Bruce you nor your wife are crazy, not just you and your wife, but all veterans need to put what you have been through and start writing to your congressman, IG. and the local director. Even if they do nothing at least you and your wife will have proof that you tried to get the matter solved and god forebid something happens to you, she will have a leg to stand on. Get a complete copy of your Medical records from the V.A. and the military records. Now when you get them read them over carefully. Do not be supprised at the language the V.A. uses, it may get you mad but please do not give them any reason to say told you so. Keep your cool and document every thing concerning the v.a. and keep writing to the head of the v.a., have your wife write a letter also stating what she has seen and by whom. P.T.S.D. is a very hard thing to live with, lets not let people who think they know everything get into our heads, there is just enough room for you there. If we veterans keep writing to the higher ups someone, one day will get the message and help us. I know that this is little help to you right now. BUT NEVER give UP trying. Something has to give and those that are harming us, will my friend pay the price, through the courts I hope. Love your family everyday and they can help heal your heart. Please try and have a good day. Fellow veteran with P.T.S.D. God bless.

      • James, thanks so much for your thoughtful response and input and ideas. Here is my latest delusion if anyone is interested: this morning I spoke with a sheriff’s office detective about bizarre stalking, maybe reverse stalking if there is such a thing as we went to a location that set us up on a big mind game. the detective blew it all off but our bank took it very seriously and said it actually scares them to even hear about it. we went to the local little pharmacy in the tiny mountain town we live in, yesterday, after getting the same weird thing from them about three weeks ago. I went in as my wife sat in the car, i had a tape recorder in my pocket as I use assistive technology that the VA readjustment program taught me to rely on. my wife came in a couple minutes later with her smartphone camera video running to film it. the pharmacist and two of his co-workers repeated what they did three weeks ago: they insisted as last time that my identical twins had been in there again and very recently. that would make me an identical triplet. i know this is maybe confusing; let me explain please. as my wife made the video the three (actually four as another person was in the back office very close with their door open) of them said things like: the pharmacist said: “The problem is, you say you don’t have an indentical twin, but we say you do. And, worse, our patient has an identical twin for sure.” This is important because the VA owes me retro comp going back to 1976 that is documented by military medical documents they gave to the VA at that time but the VA and military hid them from me all these years which i recently got from Senator McCain’s office. The VA has impersonated me before and stolen my identity and caused me extreme grief of all kinds (false arrest, prison, etc.) in an attempt to stop my 100% service connected status that they actually briefly pulled off before. So, I say, “Fine, so what you are all saying is that I am an identical triplet, since you say your patient who you believe right now is actually me, has an identical twin for sure that you have seen with him.” So, when we talked with Detective Meyer this morning he just blows it off. The VA has heavily stalked me and my wife, they know they owe me maybe about $1 million in back comp pay and they will do anything to get out of paying it. They have terrorized us in so many ways including they had someone ram the back of our car last week going at least 30 mph probably much faster. We are both hurt badly and we at least have uninsured motorist coverage to make up for the ass that hit us who claims they have no insurance at all. Our brand new car is either a complete loss or seriously in need of major repairs in the shop now, and we are expected to take a loss on it being techinically used as soon as we drove it away new from the dealership 3 weeks ago, 100% financing so that is a loss problem to us because even repaired it will be called an undesired less valuable car at trade in or if we sell it. so, we are also paranoid about the breathing and echo my wife says she can hear on our house phone right now. these people at the VA are insane. and the va calls me and her too i guess paranoid.

  6. Re-address your claims to: Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptives (by law clerk Nichols October 2010). The DVA is also required to follow the strict guidelines of The Nehmer Training Guide February 2011 Revised ( ; ) The Nehmer Training Guide Policy (211A) infers severe sanctions for non-compliance. All 9 members of SCOTUS should be fired.

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