OSC Carolyn Lerner

Watchdog OSC Calls Out VA For Firing Whistleblowers

OSC Carolyn Lerner

Benjamin KrauseThe watchdog organization Office of Special Counsel (OSC) called out VA last week for rarely firing employees for misconduct – except whistleblowers framed by VA leadership.

On the NPR show All Things Considered, Audie Cornish highlighted an interview between reporter Quil Lawrence and OSC attorney Carolyn Lerner. Here is an excerpt from the transcript and audio.

Lerner confirmed what we all expected, that all VA employees guilty of retaliation kept their jobs. So what is the lesson here? Do not speak out.


AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: This is a recurring criticism of the Department of Veterans Affairs. No one ever seems to get fired for misconduct. But according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the VA does often fire one type of employee – people who blow the whistle on it. For example, the doctor prescribing obsolete meds – no punishment. The one who wrote Congress about delays in his disability claim – he was fired. NPR’s Quil Lawrence has more.

QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: The Office of Special Counsel is the federal agency set up to protect whistleblowers. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner sent a letter to the White House today. It says the VA has taken swift action against the wrong people.

CAROLYN LERNER: Our concern is really about the pattern that we’re seeing about – where whistleblowers who disclose wrongdoing are facing trumped-up punishment, but the employees who put veterans’ health at risk are going unpunished.

LAWRENCE: Lerner outlined five cases of serious wrongdoing at VA facilities. She praised the VA for investigating and fixing the problems, but she says the employees responsible always kept their jobs.

LERNER: One case out of Washington state – managers knew that a psychiatrist was lying about the time she spent counseling veterans. After a whistleblower came forward, things changed, but the psychiatrist and her managers only received a slap on the wrist.

LAWRENCE: Misconduct like falsifying records, not hiring qualified nurses in the emergency department, prescribing outdated meds, all things that put veterans’ health in jeopardy – those got reprimands. By contrast, the food manager at the Philadelphia VA who exposed insect infestations in the kitchens – he got reassigned to clean the morgue, and his boss tried to fire him because he stole and ate expired sandwiches from the kitchen instead of throwing them out. A disabled veteran working at the Baltimore VA wrote Congress about his own lost disability claim – he got fired. A VA statement said the department is working closely with the Special Counsel to correct problems, protect whistleblowers and hold supervisors accountable. Quil Lawrence, NPR News.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2015/09/17/441222434/u-s-office-of-special-counsel-calls-out-va-firing-of-whistleblowers

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  1. Great article Ben. I guess this answers loud and clear the question of is Bob McDonald doing his job and eliminating the problems he was put in there to solve. I sure hope that the next President is someone with military service. It seems that more gets done in favor of vets when someone is in the White House who understands the problems that vets face. I just wish that Obama would stop treating us like mushrooms and actually get someone to head the VA who really is on the side of vets and protecting the whistleblowers who expose the who are wrongdoers.

    1. I think that unless you.have served your country and been behind enemy lines you could not possibly understand the risk our veterans take everyday for is to continue living. I wanted to join the navy because I grew up around water. My uncle took me on boats. Many of my family members are veterans and I wont stand by and watch them suffer. All should be treated with respect no matter what their problems are. I will always love my veterans and we all should be so very proud of them. I want our next president to have some militaty background so that the vets wont have to keep suffering. If I had to speak out for them again I would in a second it was my duty. A rsk for a risk.

  2. To everyone on here.
    I received this today, concerning “Operation Peace”. It was an interesting read. There’s even a video of about 25 minutes long. This organization is, in my opinion, making a lot of sense. That being said, please google the following;

    Gerald Celente: “We’re on the Verge of The First Great War of The 21st Century”
    Sunday, September 20, 2015 @ 9:38

    If you believe in what is being said, please forward it to your friends and family. There’s a great deal of info in this article concerning our military. Which was confirmed through the DOD. These men and women who protect our freedoms will return, possibly, to use the VA. So, this article does, in my opinion, have a right to be “talked about in this forum”!
    When y’all watch the video, there was mention of politicians wanting to attend the rally. But they, politicians, were not allowed! That impressed me to no end.

    Their slogan is, “Honor Our Founding Fathers”! As Ben Franklin once said when the “Declaration of Independence” was being signed, “If we don’t hang together, We shall surly hang separately!”

  3. Hi Ben,

    I have emailed you before about a problem I saw happening with comments from this site. I believe that someone is trying to affect your ranking in the different search engines. I believe what they are doing is adding links to spam pages to ultimately get your site marked as a spam site so that all emails from you are marked as spam. Also it will probably case this site to be black listed and removed from the search engine listings.

    A prime example of what someone is doing can be shown by reviewing the comment section from the article you published August 6th of this year. Titled “VA Caught Defrauding 300 Veterans With Brain Injuries”. The first 20 comments include links to spam pages and the comments themselves donot in anyway match the article or relate to any other comments on the article.

    The link to your article is: “https://www.disabledveterans.org/2015/08/06/va-caught-defrauding-300-veterans-with-brain-injuries/”

    I would also like to point out that if your site is black list and marked as spam anyone who is linked to this site may also ultimately be black listed and marked as spam.

    If you are interested in hearing a possible solution to the problem please contact me via email.


    1. Jade, I had to ask my wife what you meant on this. After she explained it, I believe this is why I can’t put a ‘comment’ on here sometimes. I have a new android phone. Sometimes my comment gets on by using my phone. Sometimes they don’t. Thanks for the info…
      I also put a new comment on here about “Operation Peace”! I hope you, and everyone else, google it.

  4. There are those of us who observe what is going on for real at the VA, as in the posted statement below by a social worker Wilkes that works for some VA hospital out there, and there are those who take an opposing view point altogether like the DAV does in its magazine praising Sec. McD. for being so heartfelt for veterans and to keep the VA afloat (although it will take time to correct). I don’t know about you all, but I ask “what time is it now? Howdy Doody Time?” That’s always the answer he gives – “it will take time”!
    There is no time left, Bob. Isn’t that what you said at P&G? And then you were gone.
    So there is the real problem… there are two takes on the VA issues. The blowhards and the ones that are trying to tell the blowhards what is really coming down. Time to act.
    As posted:
    “Wilkes, who helped organize a group known as “VA Truth Tellers,” said “years of cronyism and lack of accountability have allowed at least two generations of poor, incompetent leaders to plant themselves within the system,” isolating the VA “from the real world of efficient and effective medical treatment ” for veterans.
    “She said agency leaders are “more interested in perpetuating their own careers than caring for our veterans.”
    “Until we are able to protect whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers, the true depth of the corruption within the VA will not be known,” Wilkes said, calling the VA’s office of inspector general a “joke.” The office has not had a permanent leader since December 2013.

    1. You are spot on, thanks veteran who was shot in the head and had to suffer for forty years with PTSD and didn’t even know I had a tbi, after I became 100 percent after hiring an attorney! I was able to attend the drug and alcohol program and the PTSD program, I have been able to understand why I was having such a hard time remembering some things, can sleep now, understand my moods and best of all was able to quit drinking! Now I see things that are very troubling in this country, by people who have never served one day in the military and have such an ego to get ahead they don’t care who or how many they hurt, mentally and physically! This needs to be stopped or quit sending our me and women into harms way and tour after tour! Build up the military or this country will loose so many good people!

      One last thing someone please care and believe veterans do tell the truth and help!

  5. I love the VA and everyone in it.
    Ben has shown us the way and it works here.
    They are making blood from water the only way they know how.

    If you can’t pitch in and help, please quit bitching.
    From what I see, they are good people making things happen on a very tight budget.
    And most are very good people, that can’t do what we want all the time: but they are still good people. They are doing the best with what they are given.

    Can’t we all get along? I think we would all get more if we were not adversarial.
    Just remember what Ben has taught us: to be procedurally correct ALL the time.

    Thanks Ben! I owe you a great deal.

    1. Our prisons are chocked full of both very bad people, and honestly very good people. I have seen writings from those who worked in the Nazi regime, which was founded really on medical protocols (who was worthy of life from a biological point of view) that got twisted grotesquely. My ex wifes Great Aunt was an Austrian medical assistant in a medical facility dedicated in part to research. She witnessed horrific atrocities done to Jews – but she was good person – a good Nazi. She went home a nights, and got to live by keeping her mouth shut.

      Nobody woke up in the morning, and said, “gee, I want to use my medical knowledge to advance Akton T4 (Action T4, where an individuals life was determined unworthy of living, and therefor was mercifullly terminated).”

      But I have to tell you that after she described what she was mandated to assist with, I learned that though she was a good person with deep regret about what she had taken part in, I never saw her again as the same person. The Nazis too, were on a shoestring budget. Sacrifices had to be made by those good people.

      So the point I think that Ben and others like myself who went public (google PTSD Marine Battles for VA Care Roseburg), and who continue to go public is not at all whether the people are good people or bad people, or lazy, or energetic and productive.

      The point Ben is making, IMO, is that we just don’t want to be like the Nazis in this country.

    2. @Burples–

      I do not know how you have come to such conclusions when it’s quite CLEAR it’s the VA THAT HAS A HUGE ADVERSARIAL ATTITUDE TOWARDS VETERANS, which translates to Veterans FEELING adversarial towards the VA because VETERANS ARE INDEED DYING FROMTHE VA’s ADVERSARIAL AND RECKLESS WAYS.

      If your statement *was* facetious in nature, please clarify. Otherwise, your seemingly sudden change of attitude towards the VA could very well be someone else using your posting name on this site…or you drank some VA Kool-Aid through the water fountains at the VAMC’s or something.

      1. Burples sure did a 180!
        He/she must be delusional. Never committed like this before.
        I myself never had, and probably never will have, any good thing to say about VA employees. Especially in upper management!

        namnibor, you seem to be right on about VA employees not getting ill over the Legionnaires desease in any VA facility. It is strange, to say the least.

        I’m hoping McD, and all the rest of the incompetents, gets canned soon.

    3. Glad you’re happy, there are some very good workers! No doubt, but if you would really looked at what management is doing to some veterans, it would turn your stomach! They are accusing veterans of disruptive behavior and when asked to provide the proof, they are unable to produce one shread of evidence that the veteran was ever disruptive at any time and the veteran was to have come into the clinic at least twice a month and become disruptive and not one employee made any reports of contact’s ever! Director admits there was never any investigation and then after the fact, try and buffalo people, by stating to a congressman, the incident that was reported, Did not result in any action against the veteran, nor were his official medical records, ever coded for disruptive behavior, nor were his official medical records ever Red Flagged. How about that for a bold face lye! Not only did they do all of the above! They threatened the veteran with federal charges, being arrested and banishment from all VA care.! . This was not a medical professional that did the reporting, it was an employee whom didn’t like the veteran, for saying something about the way she had been running a certain committee, when the veteran was an employee working for the VA. This was pure and simple retaliation and higher management instead of doing any investigation, they condones her actions and doing so only using hearsay evidence! Don’t you see anything wrong with this picture! And the veteran given no rights to defend themselves. Don’t veterans have civil and constitutional rights! If someone in power would take a good look, they would have to find in the veterans favor! It’s reasonable doubt. That has to be proven, not beyond reasonable doubt! And every inquiry sent to higher management, was forwarded to the very same employee whom made the allegation, to answer! That my friend is called the Fox watching the hen house! Do you still not see something wrong with this picture! If you don’t, take off the blind folds! One veteran being treated nicely, does not absolve all the wrongdoings they have committed on other veterans, for what ever reason! How can anyone accuse someone of something and not have to produce any evidence! I will tell you who, higher management and don’t give a carp, how they are hurting the veteran, punishing him and think it o.k., it’s illegal and all involved in the cover-up is just as guilty, as the person making the false allegations in the first place! Jail time is the only thing they will understand, that veterans do matter and should be given the right to defend themselves and when it’s proven, that they were wronged the employees must face a judge and pay the penalty for their wrongdoing!

    4. Good people like the individual at the Portland VAMC who misses work 75% of the time (no exaggeration), misses workiltiple times for being incarcerated due to beating his wife, gets caught looking at porn on a govt. computer, sent to the ER to detox, and doesn’t do his job when he is there kind of good people…. Or good people like those who know about all this and refuse to fire him?

      1. After 33 years of no results whatever, I am now getting results like Ben did ultimately. Awareness, openness, and a change in heart assisted this change. Being bitter about screwing up my life did not help one bit. If that helps you, fine: we are all different. I just wanted to offer a counter alternative rather than mimic other posters which seemed counter productive to the group as a whole.

        You will never undue the damage to our bodies, but we can cleanse our minds and spirits with a change of heart. I will always fight and be assertive to the last breath. But I am not going to change an organization that never changes anyway. One of my many disciplines is in statistics and another in futures trading. It is much easier and productive to go with the flow than against it – much easier. Do what you like, but don’t get mad at me for successfully implementing what Ben teaches. I love each and every Veteran here. God Bless You!

      2. You know I have always have behaved every time I went to be seen, so why was I reported as being disruptive, I advised you why. Do you have any idea what it’s like to wonder if they are going to frame you again for something that never happened in the first place!

        The employee was successful in framing me and I was punished and the damage was done, every employee that open my file could see veteran red flagged! Once they see this, you are treated like a criminal! Why should the VA not be forced to prove their allegation and hearsay not be allowed as proof!

        I can say something about you and tell everyone you did it and you would not like lying about you, would you!

        Want do you have against a veteran fighting to undue an injustice! Where are my rights as a citizen of this country!

        The VA has to stop hurting veterans, just because they want too and can without fear from higher management!

        Your statement is incomplete because you can’t handle the truth, that some employees are running amuck and harming veterans at will! .

    5. The VA may have some good people, but I haven’t run across more than I could count on both hands. From my earliest years of trying to get care in OKC VA to just the past 2 days trying to reach a human other than the operator at Grand Junction, I can tell you most are arrogant, lazy slugs who will lie to your face to cover up their laziness or incompetence. You might claim my experience is anecdotal or that I am just disgruntled, but I bet a vast majority of veterans would say the same thing. I have always tried to go through the proper procedures, do what is asked or provide what is requested, and expect any VA employee to do the same. It doesn’t take long to recognize an employee that refused to do their job, so I have no problem elevating an issue. Over the past two days I’ve tried to contact the local VA to correct a problem with the wrong supplies being sent to my home from Denver. I called the clinic, left voice mails because nobody would answer the phone. I left my cell number because I always carry it. I never got a return call, so I called again yesterday morning, and left another voice mail. By noon, after not getting a call, I called again, transferred to my primary care, and left a message because nobody would answer. I waited another hour, then called to speak to the patient advocate…and left a message because she never answers her phone either, and past experience with her has made clear she will not return a call, is never in her office and will flat out lie or ignore any issue you need addressed. I believe she was aware of my meeting with the Chief of Staff a few months ago. I have no problem calling him, going to the Directors office, emailing McDonald, Hickey my Congressman or the media to put a foot in someone’s ass to get the VA to minimally do their job. Right after I left a message for her, I finally got a call on my cell from the clinic. I told her the problem and she fixed it fairly quickly, then made a comment about ordering supplies through their automated system…as if I was interrupting her day. After explaining they kept getting the order wrong, she said they would be happy to help with short phone calls like mine. I explained I called for 2 days and couldn’t get a return call, and she said the clinic sets aside 1 hour per week to return voice messages left with their clinic. 1 hour. She gave me the excuse they were short staffed.
      I have not heard anything from anyone else I left messages with.
      No matter what excuses you make, the VA is full of lazy, arrogant fools who could care less about providing care to a veteran as long as they get their paycheck.

  6. This shameful treatment of Verans did not start with Obama. I’ve been fighting the VA for 10 years. It is unfortunate that this has been the way Vietnam Vets have been treated since they returned home. Shameful really. One would think that these men would have been treated much better, especially after Congress knew that Dow and Monsanto knew they were poisoning the men and women who served ..I am so very sickened by the total b.s. they have put my husband through.

  7. Dear Mr. Krause:

    Where are our Congressmen, and other lawmakers asleep ? when will they investigate the president fully and thoroughly for any illegal activity, at most misdemeanors and try him on impeachable behavior I am sure there is something that is an impediment to a just and fair operation of our government as dictated by our Constitution.

    We all know the government is not operating as the founding fathers meant is should
    I invite all Americans to read the Constitution and judge for themselves, see for your selves my fellow Americans and judge for your selves , don’t judge judge by what I say, is our government working for the good of all?

  8. As usual: “this happened, that happened.” OK,were angry!! They should do this, that, and any other crap….” Come on guys…WAKE UP. All this venting aint going to do crap until we actually SEE changes.

    1. How can people know something wrong if people don’t speak up. You heard it before no one said anything about that! We should speak out until there is something done!

  9. I truly believe that in order for Pres. Obama to *ever* take an *interest* in Veterans, is when and if it involved a complaint through the NAACP, because THAT is EXACTLY what our President is doing with his Dept. Of Justice (DOJ)…until then, VETERAN LIVES DO NOT MATTER…sad and painful fact.

    It almost seems like the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has been purposefully placed deep within a cave that has absolutely no echo nor reverberations…by design. Seems it would make much more sense to have the OSC perform ALL the duties of VA OIG because as it exists, it seems more like a Nerf Ball Fight rather than ANY REAL POWER to do anything tangible about these horrific things. Dr.’s copy/pasting patient medical data into thousands of Veteran Medical Files is PURE LAZINESS by QUACK Dr.’s at the VA and should be thrown in Leavenworth and melt the key down right in front of these scumbags…or better yet, since these are acts of terror on Veterans, send them off for a lifetime vacation at a certain place in CUBA. Done!

    Our President obviously does not care, period.

    A President that CARED would only be holding up a yearly budget until the VA has a Mass Enema and all that have and are mistreating Veterans are jailed…not over Planned Parenthood.

    This is the type of $hit that made us finger England and sparked a revolution. Time for change…not just placating talk…always talk…always just light slaps on hands, if that. It’s become really old.

    Meanwhile, Veterans around here are saying they could go to any given medical appointment, even with blood pouring out or an organ hanging out of gut and the FIRST THING THE VA NOW ASKS IS…DO YOU HAVE A GUN? WHERE DO YOU KEEP IT?!! WTF? This is also now happening at civilian Dr. visits and do not think this is constitutional.
    My answer now for this is: “None Of Your Business”. Why are these questions considered WAY MORE important than actual MEDICAL questions?!!!

    1. namnibor, asking a patient in Florida isn’t allowed anymore. The still try, I tell the idiots nothing. because it isn’t any of their business. The last PCP I saw said he didn’t have to be registered with the “State Medical Board” either. He has a rude awakening coming!

      I’ve mentioned this before, get a copy of “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine. It’s a real eye opener. Many of his complaints are the same as what’s happening today. He also did not sign it due to a fear of reprisal by Great Britain. That pamphlet was considered the main cause to spark the American Revolution!!!

    2. Namnibor,

      To prove what you said about the OSC. Letter written by Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner to the President dated June 23rd, 2015 regarding the problem at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.


      Within the last two hours articles are coming out about a new legionaries disease outbreak at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

      Guess someone should have listened to her.

      1. The Legionnaires Disease outbreak at an Illinois VA has killed Veterans and dozens infected, yet, this has been kept entirely OUT of the mainstream news. It made a few seconds blurp a few times in my local news, in an entirely different State.
        This has become way too often, and definitely more often within the VAMC environment when compared to civilian arena.

        If the VA rarely even honors let alone acknowledges civilian Independent Medical Opinions, the VA is never going to “listen” to the OSC. It’s going to require a total VA enema. The VA is quite impacted. (as in full of it)

      2. Namnibor,

        Thank you for pointing out Legionnaires Disease outbreak at an Illinois VA. It currently has caused 13 deaths and there are currently 54 infected with no end in sight. In Illinois it is at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy and in Pittsburgh it is at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

        As you point out with the statement “This has become way too often, and definitely more often within the VAMC environment when compared to civilian arena.”.

        Looking further into the current and past outbreaks at the VA Pittsburg Healthcare System there is a pattern that is immerging. Each time the Pittsburgh VA is cleared they have an outbreak and always with a different strain of legionella then is found at the facility.

        The outbreak that occurred between February 2011 to November 2012 began Eighteen months after the CDC signed off, a Legionnaires’ contamination at the facility. The IG’s office had closed an investigation into contamination at the facility October 2009 that had been requested by a former Microbiologist who had been employed there.

        March 3rd, 2015 the OSC closed a supplemental investigation and issued a clean bill of health for the facility on it’s continued handling of the Legionnaires monitoring to prevent another outbreak. Seven weeks latter on April 21st, 2015 a Veteran at the facility is diagnose with Legionnaires Disease and dies on the 23rd.

        June 23rd, 2015 OSC Carolyn Lerner sends a letter to the President giving the facility another clean bill of health regarding their Legionnaires monitoring system. Again September 21st,2015 the new breaks that again 6 new cases of Legionnaires Disease at the same facility.

        Each time the VA has claimed that it is a different strain of legionella then is found at the facility.

        Total incompetence or strait out murder of Veterans?

      3. To Jade & namnibor, don’t forget the Legionnaires outbreak down here at that “brand new streamlined, state of the art VA hospital” at Lake Nona, Florida just last year. All because NO ONE checked the water lines. How’s that for incompetence!

      4. Jade, I read today VA officials are claiming the outbreak is NOT connected to the Pittsburgh VA medical center! They, the veterans, had to have contracted it somewhere else!

      5. @Jade Helm-

        Glad you found that info on the Quincy, ILL. VA Veteran’s Care Facility. ONLY A WEEK AGO the death tally just *there* was actually -4- Veterans and about -2- Dozen Infected, ALL Veterans, not even a PEEP about any VA Employees infected, *just Veterans*…the law of statistics show that something is awry here because with the #’s now at *13 Veteran DEATHS* and **54 Veterans now INFECTED**….one just has to wonder if this is a little uncontrolled “experiment” because a week ago, the CDC was called-in and TOOK OVER because the VA was not only doing a craptastic job, but the VA seemingly GAVE-UP. This is a TRUE OUTBREAK and I just wonder how many that have both died and currently infected possibly had pending VA Service-Connected Medical Claims and just how much $$$ the VA is “saving” through this potentially *convenient outbreak* and just WHY are Veterans ONLY infected and dying from it with absolutely no reports of VAMC Health-worker Employees dying nor even infected?

        Ben, there’s a story there in Quincy, ILL as well as Pittsburg and Philly VAMC’s. This is entirely unacceptable because as anyone will find out when you look-up info about Legionnaires Disease, it is TOTALLY PREVENTABLE when PROPER CLEANLINESS AND MAINTENANCE OF Heating/Air Conditioning Systems and Ductwork, as well as keeping the facility’s ductwork and air filters properly maintained.

        This places an exclamation mark as well as question mark of the VA actually caring about the safety and well-being of Veterans at VAMC’s. The VA seems to play the “Penny Wise, a Pound Foolish” game with Veteran’s lives.
        My own civilian Infectious Disease Specialist relayed to me that the rate of occurrence and reoccurrence at VA Facilities raises BOTH eyebrows and brings to question blatant mismanagement and reckless management of the most important things with ANY Medical Environment, and that my fellow Veterans and Survivors is called CLEANLINESS.

        Not trying to find fault with the OSC here, but if the VA OIG also seems to pencil-whip these types of things, then it stands to reason that both agencies only have “face value relevance” but never EVER brings anyone responsible accountable.

        These outbreaks make me glad I at least am fortunate to have choice to use Medicare and civilian medical team rather than using the VA for any of my medical care. However, if my health issues were to escalate or say (God forbid), I come down with even more medical issues such as Cancer, et al, if I would even then be willing to utilize the VA Medical Centers because it’s akin to Third World Medicine…even worse. It would certainly cost me LE$$ if I used the VA, but the co$t of my $anity absolutely has no price from my perspective.
        Thanks again Jade Helm, for looking up the current death toll and infected Veterans just at the Quincy, ILL Veteran Care Facility.

        This is what happens when the VA puts unqualified medical and everything else in charge of Veteran’s lives and MARK MY WORDS…the VA will conveniently BLAME whomever they subcontract to prevent such outbreaks in first place as it seems the VA contracts everything out, making one wonder if the VA just does not KNOW HOW to maintain a clean environment in a Medical Environment…total FAIL.

        Ben, please look into these various VAMC’s locations with severe break-outs currently because “The VA Spokesperson” always seems to paint every VA Turd with fairy dust and fills the air with unicorn’s farting rainbows…meanwhile Veteran are indeed DYING!!

        Rant over and sorry so long. This simply is unacceptable and makes my brain wonder if these are results of VA experimenting…especially when it’s only Vets dying and getting infected…no VA Employees reported as such from just these -2- outbreaks.

    3. They ask this because some gun grabbing ninny ( I believe the AMA) thought it would be a way for Big Brother to find out where guns are, and to pressure them to get rid of guns because they claimed it created an unhealthy household. Never mind the fact that they ignored stats from high gun crimes. I’m sure they could have found all kinds of ways to misuse that data. There was pushback by civilians, but I never heard about the VA doing it until reports of veterans having their guns confiscated started coming out. Now I am asked that question every time I go to the VA as if that is the most important detail of why I am there. The next questions are about alcohol, tobacco or drug use, followed by weight loss, or some other fad program they are pushing, along with nice brochures they want to give me. The former primary care nurse I had was so busy pushing this crap she neglected to note the health conditions I did tell her resulting in her falsely stating in my medical record that certain conditions were not noted. I forced them to amend my records and to assign me to another provider.
      I firmly believe the VA gets separate grants to study this crap, or generate the data to support someone’s grant application as the reason they do this. Its amazing the asinine programs they have pushed over the years, including providing free chocolate to see if that reduced stress. So, get free chocolate one month and get added to their weight program a few months later.
      As for guns, it’s clear Obama is pushing that issue. Too bad he couldn’t move as quickly to fix the rest of the disaster known as the VA.

  10. This just shows how little transparency there is at the VA. But what is Bob McDonald doing about it? Why, he’s just floating along implementing his own agenda instead of doing what really needs to be done. Start firing some people!!

    1. Yeah, VA Se. McDonald lied through his teeth when he stated he was going to bring transparency like never before to the VA.

      I am now more apt to believe that statement coming from “Miss Piggy” from the “Muppet Show” because it would be much more believable than the verbal flatulence we have been given from VA Sec. McD.

      “Lame Duck VA Secretary” or just “Lame VA Secretary”? Lame, all the same!!!!

  11. Daniel here, Viet Nam era vet. I believe the federal government should fire all administrative officers, department heads, facility managers etc, basically everyone who does not provide actual patient care. Then have our combined military take over the administrative functions, because my experience has shown me that soldiers care about their fellow soldiers, whereas many VA administrators are only in it for the salary and bonuses.
    Why should va employees make so much more than active duty military personnel, when much of their work efforts seem to be centered not only around denial of care and benefits, but have been involved in covering up patient deaths. These people have no morals, they do not deserve to draw a paycheck from our government!
    I moved from the Willamette valley to Grants Pass, Or, in the fall of 2012. Since being transferred to White City A, I have been ignored, lied to, denied medical care, treated like a criminal, and my first provider tried his best to have my veterans benefits completely taken away from me, because I have an infection of unknown origin. If you (veteran) are thinking of moving to southern Oregon and getting medical care from the VA, DON’T!!

  12. Crazy Elf,

    You know how it is when you see a article like this you just need to know more. I went to the OSC website and under resources it provides access to public files. The public files contain the documentation for investigations completed by year.

    Under this year, 2015, there is list of investigations completed. For each investigation there is a line of links providing to access information from the investigations. That line of links includes access to the a letter to the President, Analysis, Agency Report, and Whistle blowers response to the agencies report for that investigation.

    After reading all of the letters to the President for 2015 I found the letter Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner sent to the President and is the subject of her interview. The following is a link to the letter but you will need to remove the quotes from the beginning and end to access the letter.


    It is truly and important letter and should be read by every Veteran and Every VA employee.

    1. A taste of the information contained in the letter but not covered in the interview.

      “The director of a VA outpatient clinic within the Martinsburg, West Virginia VAMC system improperly monitored witness interviews through a video feed to a conference room during an OMI investigation of patient care problems. The manager also approached a witness after the employee provided testimony to OMI and was not candid when interviewed about his actions. The director’s actions create a chilling effect on the willingness of employees to participate in OMI and other investigative processes that promote better care for veterans. Yet
      the director received only a written counseling.”

      “In Montgomery, Alabama, a staff pulmonologist copied and pasted prior provider notes for veterans, resulting in inaccurate recordings of patient health information and in violation of VA rules. The pulmonologist copied and pasted other physicians’ earlier recordings, including the patients’ chief complaint, physical examination findings, vital signs, diagnoses, and plans of care. An investigation confirmed that the pulmonologist copied and pasted 1 ,241 separate patient
      records. Yet the physician received only a reprimand. While the VA explained that managers attempted to issue a 30-day suspension, management did not provide the appropriate information to human resources, which only approved a reprimand.”

      Reading through the other letters to the President from Mrs. Lerner this year are truly horrifying.

      1. Jade, This kind of goes along with that 4,000 page report where 87 VAMC’s in 30 states were visited recently. Remember that one? It seems more VA employees were willing to speak up concerning the incompetence, lack of transparency and accountability of VA. I wish Ms. Lerner would have sent more letters to the “main stream media’s”. Veterans and taxpayers need this info.

        Also, where did you get that info on Jennifer Dionne being a sort of “realtor” for that “FOR PROFIT” hotel In Paris, France called “Pershing Hall”? I found out a great deal, except for her, on Wikipedia concerning that 5 star 25 room beautiful hotel. It sure does have a lot of pics of its’ BAR! I wonder how many ‘financial deals’ Ol McD, or his cronies, have made there while in a drunkin stuper!!!??? I also wonder how much of the “profit” goes into McDonalds’ pocket?

        Lastly, don’t be surprised when the government shuts down on Oct 1st.. Because Obama will probably ‘veto’ the ‘bill’ that defunds “Planned Parenthood”! But, if everyone has been keeping up with the news on this. It’s not just about the “Planned Parenthood” crap. It’s about all the different agencies and government entities wanting taxpayers monies. They all want to get richer!!!!

      2. Crazy Elf,

        The info on Jennifer Dionne being the lobbyist spreading the lobby bucks around Congress to promoting the sale comes from a combination of places.

        1.) Her profile on linked in shows that she is a former Deputy Director of Government Affairs for TriWest and her bio at Atlantic Strategies Group also list the position at TriWest.

        2.) The news release from Congressman Coffman list LA Partners as the potential buyer and current leaser of the Pershing Hall luxury hotel in Paris as well as several News articles on the subject.

        3.) A search of LA Partners at opensecrets.org Show that La Partners hired Jennifer Dionne’s Lobbying firm the Atlantic Strategies Group to lobby Congress. Also Jennifer Dionne’s LD-2 Disclosure Forms found on opensecrets.org list the purpose she is lobbying Congress is for LA Partners with the Specific lobbying issue “Work with Congress to authorize sale of a specific VA property.”

        Hope this helps for a better understanding of who is promoting the sale or rip off of more VA property.

        As for Robbie McDonald’s yearly $100,000 into his discretionary Account. That comes from a congressional report on the Pershing Hall fund.

      3. Jade, it seems many of the OSC reports don’t confirm the WB’s allegations. I wonder what made her change her tune? I downloaded many of the OSC reports. Just about everyone were deemed to be where the WB was lying!!!

        I also wonder, after reading Jennifer Dionne’s bio, how she can sleep at night. I also wonder if there is a ‘bid’ going on for the 300+ acres of property in West Los Angeles. The property was given to VA in 1889, I believe. To be used only for and by veterans. I heard, through the grapevine, McD gave it away to the VA in west Los Angeles to do with it what they wanted, and f**k the vets.
        As far as the property known as Pershing Hall, I hope the government stops any sale. If it is not brought before Congress then the sale would be illegal. But if recent history runs true, the properties will be sold and the monies generated will disappear….. Just like the monies have for some time now….

      4. This is just crazy, they need to put some teeth into those employees that are found to be lying! Jail time. Or this will never stop, why should it. If the employees know nothing will happen and the veteran has to suffer with no positive outcome and the VA can just hurt him even more or someone else! This is unbelievable and a disgrace to this country and all veterans!

  13. Somehow, are we to be thankful for the Office of Special Counsel going on a public radio station to denounce what whistle blowers, veterans and their advocates have been saying for years? This is not a revelation. Whistle blowers have been singled out by their superiors for years by the corrupt VA heirarchy.

    The VA model is most closely aligned with a dictatorial regime. The people in high positions in the government (VA managers and administrators), keep the lower government employees (the VA workers) and citizens (the veteran) in check by ruling with an autocratic, vindictive hand. Woe befalls anyone who speaks against the system. The order of the day is, you must go along to get along – or, else.

    Sure, I imagine you can say it is better late than never for the OSC to go on NPR. It would be a lot better if she went on 60 Minutes, made the Sunday morning shows, the cable pundit round, the nightly late shows and wrote to papers such as the NY and LA times. Then America might hear of it.

    I read quite a few comments whenever another VA blunder makes regualr websites such as The Washington Times and CBS News, to mention just a couple. Almost without exception, the comments from non-veterans are sympathetic to our plight or are angry at the government. There is a sentiment growing and we must not only be proactive ourselves, but urge those readers and everyone you contact to understand our situation and ask their active support.

  14. I think it’s great “OSC” is standing up for the “Whistleblowers”! The only problem I see is, OSC sent it off to the wrong person(s). She should have sent copies to ALL news outlets, ie: CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, etc., etc., etc…
    This ‘report’, in my opinion, needs wider coverage. Does anyone actually believe the White House will act on this? My wife twittered it to Obama, Boehner and Trump. I hope they will now know this report has gotten out, and will do something about it. Shame (Pride) them into acting, hopefully!!!!

    Jade, on a side note.
    I’ve Googled through Wikipedia, “Pershing Hall (Hotel)” in Paris, France. It give a great deal of info. The history and pictures are great. It’s a beautiful hotel owned by the U.S. and V.A. Only, because of the 1991 Law made through Congress, the VA has complete control of it!!!!! There’s been a few articles written where Congressman Coffman has said to McD to sell it. And use the monies for the “money pit” in Aurora, Colorado. There’s also been articles where McD has given “low ball amounts” ($25 and $30 million respectfully). On one of the aticles I remember something in the range of it’s worth being around $300 million +/-.
    I’ve also not been able to find anything on a Jennifer Dionne being contracted as a “realtor”?!
    Can you, or anyone, find any articles confirming her contract? Also, Since it requires an “Act of Congress” to sell the property, and if a sale is made, then the sale is illegal!!!! Of course, we all know VA doesn’t follow any laws…
    If I’ve forgotten anything, please respond….

    1. I have sent this article off to the news media’s in my area of Central Florida. I suggest everyone who reads this article do the same!!!!!

  15. I am encouraged that the OSC is on the case, that the White House is being kept informed, and that this much was given a public airing. I will be even more encouraged when I see a change of behavior at the VA.

  16. At the VA, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ And, ‘VA corruption is almost always rewarded.’

    1. We use to call it: “Fucking up- Moving up” in the Army
      Guess DoD and VA have the same SOPs
      MSG VAM

  17. The whistle blowers need to be protected period without them we might not know what is really going on.

  18. Every I received e-mail after e-mail about VA wrong doing to veterans and other veterans don’t take affirmative action. Is it because they are helpless or what? Veterans must unite and spread the word that VA must be accountable to the veterans. Open up your facebook and you will how a single nurse who had been criticize in the media turn over million fellow nurses joining together to protect their fellow nurse. They provide moral support and it is working. I am calling veterans to post VA wrong doing and get the ball rolling together we can make the difference.

    1. I wish more veterans would band together, but not even Veteran Service Organizations are willing to take direct action and only they have access to the masses of veterans. I am an outspoken critic of the VA on YouTube, but my videos get little play. Writing to the media never gets a response. As I see it most people including veterans don’t care enough about the many problems to actually “do” anything.

      Eugene Newcombe
      AKA the “Irate Veteran”

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