VA Leadership Ready To Cut Termination Red Tape

VA Leadership

Benjamin KrauseThe most recent termination reversal of a director who allowed abuse of veterans pushed VA leadership over the edge resulting in a move to cut red tape.

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) reversal of the termination of hospital director Linda Weiss was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Weiss stood by while numerous veterans were abused by VA employees under her control. The abuse included one nurses stealing painkillers from veterans and injecting them with water instead.

The MSPB decided to overturn her termination following the previous week’s reversal of the demotions of Diana Rubens and Kim Graves. Adding insult to injury, Sharon Helman is now apparently also appealing her termination.

In response to a complete inability to terminate anyone, VA executive Sloan Gibson is proposing a dramatic move to place senior executives (SES) on par with VA doctors under Title 38. This would allow the agency to terminate senior employees for cause without dealing with appeals to MSPB.


Sloan Gibson explained his frustration with MSPB:

“My judgment is owed considerable deference by the MSPB. Yet based on this and other recent decisions, it appears the MSPB does not agree with the Congress’ or the VA’s interpretation of the extent of my authority and has, once again, substituted its judgment for mine and demonstrated a willingness to second guess the VA’s application of legitimate high standards for accountability.”

VA spokesman James Hutton explained VA’s position on the change:

“Title 38 recognizes the medical profession in a different way. There is greater flexibility in pay, location premiums, disciplinary processes and other elements. This is a new concept that has come out of discussions with the committee. Nothing formal has been submitted or finalized.”

Think they will make the change?


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  1. Dear Mr. Krause:

    All I can say about the offer from Loan Gibson, to terminate abuse employees is legitimate; if it isn’t let it be applied to him also, since he would be included in the abusive
    employees by condoning the abusive ones by not standing on his word, and there is a saying in Spanish,” Tanto peca el que le tiene la pata a la vaca, como el que la mata.”
    in other words; more or less he he who holds the cow’s foot to prevent it from fleeing to save it’s life, is as guilty as the one that kills it, by contributing to it’s death,something to
    that effect.

    Yours for GOD and country
    Frank P. Calderon

  2. I wish I could say I trust Gibson in his intention to fire bad employees, but his track record shows I would be a fool to do so. His actions defending those he claimed he wanted to fire before the MSPB shows he doesn’t care about the actions of bad employees.
    What concerns me about this is if he’s trying an end run around any pay raises for senior employees. Of they were changed to this new category, would they qualify for higher pay as mentioned?
    On a side note, the Daily Caller has a good article about the AFGE head, Jeff Cox being recorded in a speech saying Rep. Jeff Miller, chair of the House VA committee is a fool, and saying he would whoop Bob McDonald’s ass.
    Not a good impression for the head of an employee union that claims to work on behalf of vets.

    1. It’s all about greed and I hope those people hide their ?.because if things don’t change soon they will be responsible for the next civilian unrest and they will be some of the first to be arrested.

      They can run but they can’t hide.ask any of the SS that left Germany.maybe they inflitrated our government and the SS is in charge.

      Our elected officials are being laughed at by many citizens.knowing they have no real power.just talk.I plead the fifth.oh ok you may leave.

      You have heard of hot air.that’s what are elected officials seem to be doing.until they hold wrongdoings accountable people will run amuck.

    2. Right on. When I mentioned earlier about my thoughts if they were trying to “blur the lines” between upper management and classification of physicians…that was the first thing that came to mind, it HAS to do with $$$$$$….that’s truly what drives these lamprey of vets. Otherwise, they would move-on to a different “host agency”. These are true sociopaths.
      That VA Spokesperson quoted in this article had the VERY FIRST SENTENCE be about “….Greater flexibility in pay…” (note, Veterans were not even mentioned, it’s all about their a$$e$).
      Watch this to be interpreted by the VA as no longer are there any limits in place as far relocation bonuses…this is all on the sly, can see it pretty clearly.

  3. Yep. We definitely got a “Troll” fishing around today.

    Anyone who believes McDonald’s or Gibson’s tripe, is in for a big rude awakening.
    IF, and I do mean IF, McDonald or Gibson or anyone at the very top, was going to change the “egregious criminal acts”, (committed by anyone at various vamc’s), they would have accomplished that goal within the first six to eight months of their tenure.
    Instead, they have allowed the “festering of incompetence and criminality to reign supreme!”

    Examples are widespread and are nationwide. The VAMC’s and VARO’s have dug in and feel they are impervious to any litigation, criminal or civil.
    Right now, at least in Florida, the odds of adjudicating any malpractice case in any Federal Court is at least a year or a year and a half in wait time. Has anyone here asked how long to adjudicate a claim in your federal court system? Bet the attorneys in your areas can tell you!

    This blog today, as with other’s, show’s exactly what SES’rs will receive in way of punishment – absolutely NOTHING! And I will bet a donut for breakfast, Helman (the b!tch from Phoenix) is re-instated! Who wants to wager?

    That’s my rant and opinion for today. I’ve got a touch of a cold also namnibor! Got one hell of a headache.
    Tired of “Trolls” trying to make MOST VA employees look like angels from Heaven! When their really devils from Hell!
    In my opinion, all upper management at all VA’s care about is MONEY. That “God Almighty Dollar”! And HOW they get it is beside the point! That goes for any VA employee who, when they witness an egregious act, and do not report that act -they are just as culpable in the act as the perpetrator – PERIOD!
    We’ve had VA employees come on here and admit witnessing egregious (criminal) acts against veterans. When we asked; “Did you report it?” Their answers were – “I didn’t want to lose my job!” or “I didn’t want to be forced out!”
    We’ve heard the Bullcrap from these “WEAKLINGS” and are tired of it! One can only be pushed into a corner so many times! We were Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen or Coast Guard first! We took an “Oath” which many believe we’re still under today! VA employees took an oath also. Many break that oath everyday!

    1. If you look at each of these failures to fire these hacks, each one cost the VA many thousands of dollars to go through that process, only to fail and possibly expose themselves to more costs from being sued.
      Whoever is overseeing that process should be fired for incompetence.
      In addition, given the VA has such a poor record of being successful at firing these hacks, they need to hire someone competent at putting these cases together so they can stop failing miserably at it, even if it means hiring outside consultants to do it.
      They would save significantly more money in the long run.

    2. Bob McDonald’s office is just as corrupt.veterans hand them all the proof they needed to ? an employee.

      But his office lied straight out.the employee you are speaking about.NO longer works for the VA.

      What kind of investigation is done when they tell flat out lies about the employee not working for the VA.When the veteran knows this is not true.

      So for Bob’s office they cover up instead of trying to find the truth.

      Bob McDonald’s employees just don’t care If they scew a veteran.even when they had all the evidence proving the veteran was set up by a disgruntled employee.

      Believe it When I see it.

  4. McDonald need to understand leadership morals and values are reflected in what their subordinates do. I served under honorable and corrupt people in military,government and civilian life if you’re week don’t care afraid to lead there goes your agency. You need someone like Max Cleland or J Edgar Hoover somebody that the SES,Directors,managers are safe from his wrath. VA would change overnight.

  5. Im burnt this endless river ,just how far dose the rabbit hole go,im ready to march i forgot i can’t walk, an i was drafted and this is we get.— we in deep shitttttt.

    1. If and when we do March.just let me know.we will push you where ever you need to one will be left behind.were a band of brothers and sister’s and no one can stop that.

  6. McDonald and Sloan actions are comical.They are firing lower level employees but GS-14, GS-15 and SES get to be reassigned or keep their jobs, classic case Glenn Haggstrom who mismanaged two billion dollars in construction contracts and received performance based cash awards but was firing all lower level employees who question agency policy and procedures on construction contracts.

    1. You are correct. Again McDonald claims to have fired 2600 employees in the last year. If that were the case, the ratio of managers GS13 and above fired compared to those below would be much higher.
      VA building contracting is a massive money pit screaming for a thorough audit.

      1. They fire temporary employees and low level employees and management is like the SS.say something negative or point out a flaw and what do you get.

        A bunch of carp.mind your own’s above your pay grade. Keep it up and you will be fired.

        I’ve always known that you do as your told.except when you know it would break a law. I have told supervisors no before.guess that’s why they reported me to the disruptive committee as soon as I retired.they knew no one would help or care If they falsely accused a former employee who did not take any Gump.

        Retalation pure and simple.if employees come on here and say I’m not telling the truth.they are lieing to themselves.

        Billions of dollars for employees.veterans must beg for scraps and if they don’t like scraps complain.they will threaten veterans and report them as being disruptive and punished.

  7. The cynicism here is amazing. I see two people, McDonald and Gibson, doing their best to overcome a bureaucracy not of their own making. Much of it is of Congress’s making and they need Congress to reverse itself on some matters and restore authority to responsibility and vice-versa. I applaud what they are attempting to do. It takes a long time to undo decades of corruption.

    1. At one point I would have said you may be right, but after Gibson’s public comments defending Rubens and Graves, I no longer think he cares about bad VA management.

      1. People all over the ? are listening and watching everything going on in this country.

        Even if our elected officials can’t see what’s going on.They can and will eather attack us or just laugh those Americans.don’t know or care about what’s happening to their country.

        A bunch of hypocrits.speaking about the land of the free.were a law abiding country.

        Can’t you just see them laughing at all of us.being leed like ?.

        As long as it don’t effect me personally.I’ll look the other way.

        What Americans don’t seem to understand.if it’s not stopped now.or will spread like cancer and we know how hard it is to get rid if cancer.

        Americans will be sorry if they don’t demand change and soon. You don’t hear any elected officials denying the claims of a lame duck.

  8. McDonald needs to go! He’s nothing but a senior executive company man the same as he was at P&G. VA mind -set is always dead centered on ways to screw over and harm and kill veterans while enjoying complete immunity. Those people don’t have any conscience. It’s the devil’s playground!

    1. Mickey D is not going anywhere. In a little over 11 months he will be gone with a new administration. The VA just received a huge increase in their budget, but I doubt anything will change until we have someone running this country who wants it to change.

  9. Pretty obvious , Mc D wants more money, tell the public and congress what they want to hear Sloan says he tried take the money business as usual……..The only way I see any of this changing to the benefit of the veteran is to have a political revolution……..VOTE

  10. They old saying I’ll believe it When I see it. Our young adults watch the news and they don’t want any part of it and our country is paying the price and us only weakening our military.

    They can see if they join the military our government will not take care of why put you life on the line to protect people who will do whatever they can to ensure veterans are not treated with the respect they deserve.

    The VA is adversarial against the very people who provide them with employment and yearly bonous.

    Start there no bonous.make it easier to fire employees.take the hiring of employees out of VA control.due away with the illegal disruptive committee.hold employees accountable and give the veteran the benefit of the doubt in cases where it’s tie to the runner.

    Make laws that will require jail time.if and when employees are found to be harming veterans.

    1. That is the problem. There are plenty of laws, which if enforced would result in serious jail time. I am disabled and was abandoned without notice; by my naturalized Philippine wife who was my primary caregiver and her recently emigrated parents who I sponsored to get them to help her and my son, However when my son asked me to send them home while he was crying that he had been hurt by her father and showed me bruising; I then told them if they didn’t go home I was going to call the Sheriff’s office for abuse against me and my 6 year old son on April 26th 2014; I also reported it to the VA, FBI, the Department of State, Missing Children, SBI, and the Sheriffs department and no one would help. She kidnapped my then 6 year old son and they concealed him from me and much more. Two month after they left I then found they had also committed visa document fraud too. I spent most of the two years before being abandoned and most of the two years after they left in bed or in the house. I will finally have a divorce in a month, I hope I can get my son back, because her father is under a family protective services investigation after he hit my son in the head. I have had to pay 3 thousand a month for them under a really bad legal decision….yet they gamed the system and I could never get them back to court to change it. I have a good legal team now, but everything my mother left me when she died in cash will be gone, almost three hundred thousand dollars and this was money myself, my parents and two previous generations of my family had made and saved. We started with nothing. My wife, Imee and her family made legal moves which resulted in my becoming cleaned out on my savings and now I will not even have my monthly disability because they get most of that too and I have no more savings.

      Where are the people who are supposed to help us from criminals who manipulate the systems and drain veterans dry, and defraud them them of their entire lifetime of effort and sacrifice.

      They learned quickly to lie, lie, lie. Since no one has investigated them, it is the victim who is assumed to be in the wrong. Notice I said assumed.

      1. James you want to court.if your indignant now the court should be free.

        Sounds like they scammed you and planned all of this.I hope you do gave a good legal team. Did they get your disability or do you have one.

        Almost the same thing happened to my son.he married a Philippine lady.she was in the military also.

        She had been married twice and each time the husband was given the kids as she was abuseful to them.

        The court’s knowing this gave her the kids.she hit herself and called the police and they arrested my son.she even want to new Jersey and took someone’s else kids to a guys house and he took her in and she then told him the kids were taken away.

        She played him and got him to spend over fourty thousand dollars to buy her a trailer and a suv and left.

        The sister’s called us trying to find her.they wanted to sue her.stating he was left broke and he died.

        Don’t know why the judge want in her favior.but I know she plays men and I’m afraid one day she or one of her new men will end up hurting one of them.

        She and other know how to manipulate people especially men.

        I have heard the court’s have taken veterans disabilities monies away from them and gave it to the spouse.

        All I can say is good luck and you may want to speak with someone in mental health to help you get passed you can keep fighting.

        Remember tomarrow is a new day and things can change for the better.just hang in there.

  11. I’ve said time and time again that the only way to reform the VA is to get rid of civil service protections and fire the incompetent middle and upper managers…and anyone who has anything to do with shredding of documents or hidden wait lists. If those left can’t do the job then fire them too and train and hire unemployed Vets to replace them…

    1. If congress doesn’t have the balls then we need to hire a new congress…ARE YOU MAD ENOUGH YET?

      Time for a Veteran’s Political Action Committee….

      1. Agree entirely with you, Sir.
        Elegantly simple. Utilize the specialized training and experiences OF Veterans AT the VA, and a great transitional pathway for End Of Enlistment for Honorable Discharge Veterans into the civilian life. Transitional job security for Active Duty—–>civilian/VA.

        This will require the VA to actually work with the Military Branches. This also means it will require a complete enema of all upper management of the current VA and I will even go as far as implementing a “UCMJ-Lite”, to ensure across the board standardization so each and every VA no matter what State, city, it’s all the same…and then follow this chain of command to the President, whom can e impeached and held responsible for allowing egregious behavior and fraud…Leavenworth Prison, Kansas comes to mind.
        I can dream, can’t I? It’s elegantly simple…at least to me. Too many hands in cookie jars currently, and that includes all VA Contractors, because the reality is, we should love our VA and VAMC and not even need to have a “Choice Program”, if all was as it should be.
        Still praying…it’s worked very well for other things in my life…

      2. Abused animals get more respect and news time than veterans. Those people hurting animals have their day in court.

        Veterans are being treated worse than can This be?

    1. You’re onto something I think, as this proposal by McDonald and Gibson sounds like they are more leaning towards “blurring the lines” between upper management and Union Employees.
      Today’s article and a few other things has me wondering if this was only a prelude to something massively being dumped on a Friday/weekend news cycle? Some new corruption or fraud on the horizon that feel the need to sprinkle fairy dust and rainbow unicorns in a VA Spin Cycle kind of way?

  12. I believe this is nothing more than a “Dog and Pony Show” by Gibson or McDonald!
    He has shown, many time now, he doesn’t care one iota for veterans. His “appearance” in December, where he “redefined” the definition of “accountability” proves he’s either incapable of firing incompetent employees! Or unwilling to fire incompetent employees!
    Of course, now the SES’rs have the “MSPB” on their side. They could commit murder and not have anything done to them.
    In my opinion, putting the SES’rs on the same playing field as physicians (and all other employees) is a waste of time. Now they will be protected by the union. We all know about that union. How corrupt it is.

    So, my opinion again is;
    Completely do away with the medical portion of VA. Lay off all the physicians and medical personnel. Let’s see how fast, if at all, most of these “so-called” medical professionals get hired in the civilian sector!!
    Let vets go outside for medical treatment! That in itself will save taxpayers billions of $$$$!

    1. @crazyelf-
      I agree completely and with other comments here today. In day 6 of this terrible flu, so resting more than usual.
      This looks like Sloan Gibson is just trying to further protect SES employees by having them under same classification as VA Physicians under Title 38…and we have seen just how well that works.

      This also smells of “VA Foreplay”, warming-up Congress for those hands to be wide-open asking for more cash to sacrifice to the VA’s Black Hole. This also could be an attempt to pre-kiss-the-a$$-of-incoming-Presidential Election Storm, in an attempt to show whomever may state the VA is not doing it’s job and Gibson can show what was written in a “See what we are doing now?” kind of way. Who knows, but it’s not to the benefit of Vets, only employees. Too bad the VA does not have we Veteran’s backs like they do for their own employees!?!!!

      Like crazyelf said, I am only seeing a ‘horse and pony show’ here with backing soundtrack by your local circus organ….or a monkey with an organ grinder 🙂

  13. 02/11/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    The VA is in a cover-up Mode. Go to the People not the VA for solutions.

    Do not forget about these hearings:

    FEB 10, 2016 | Hearing
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2017
    FEB 10, 2016 | Hearing
    A Review of VA’s Loan Guaranty and Specially Adaptive Housing Grant Programs (SAH)

    FEB 11, 2016 | Hearing
    Choice Consolidation: Improving VA Community Care Billing and Reimbursement


    Don Karg

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