Sunday, April 30, 2017

Department of Veteran Affairs' Whistle-Blowers Are Leery of Trump's Executive Order Creating an Office to Protect Them.

USA TODAY reports, "As President Trump signed an executive order Thursday seeking to provide more protections to whistle-blowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the very people he's trying to protect are leery.

In locations spanning from Arizona to Delaware, and Florida to Wisconsin, current and former employees who endured retaliation from superiors after they reported abuses have watched as those managers retained their positions — and were even promoted in some cases.

In Tomah, Wis., a human resources manager is still in place seven years after signing off on punishment for a psychologist who raised concerns about a colleague prescribing too many narcotics at the hospital. The psychologist, Christopher Kirkpatrick, went home and committed suicide.

The hospital later became known as “candy land” because of the prolific prescriptions, and a veteran died there in 2014 from mixed drug toxicity.

The same HR manager did nothing as now-former employee Ryan Honl was stripped of his job duties, locked out of his office and isolated from coworkers a day after he reported fraud and other problems at the Tomah hospital, Honl said. His direct supervisor who initiated the actions in 2014 got a promotion.

"Until there are concrete changes all the way down the chain of command at VA hospitals,” Honl told USA TODAY, “it's all hot air.” 

The order Trump signed creates a new office at the VA that will investigate allegations of misconduct – including retaliation against whistle-blowing employees who reported abuses — and seek to identify systemic barriers that have previously hindered the agency's top leaders from more adequately addressing such problems in the past, including with disciplinary action.

"With the creation of this office, we are sending a strong message: Those who fail our veterans will be held, for the first time, accountable," Trump said. "At the same time, we will reward and retain the many VA employees who do a fantastic job, of which we have many.

 ...We have also some of the most honest employees, and some of them expose wrongdoing, and we will make sure that they're protected.".....

Full article:

Food for thought:
If only Trump would do the same for the military; established "better protection" for Military Whistleblowers!!!

After reading this article, it hit too close to home, considering I was immediately ordered to be discharged from the Navy within weeks of filing a Qui Tam petition with the Department of Justice Anti-Trust division, in early June 2009.  I outline the details of my petition in the later chapters of my memoir, "Broken Silence, a Military Whistleblower's Fight for Justice, as well as ALL parties that were involved in defrauding our government!!   


Anonymous said...

Syneeda, It requires more than an executive order to force military officials to be accountable for the mistreatment of military personnel. As long as senior military officials maintain "executive authority" to manage themselves, more violations of federal laws will continue to occur.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem. There's already an office that is supposed to protect Whistleblowers from retaliation for blowing the whistle. It's called the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The problem is that the OSC is as corrupt as the year is long. If the OSC performed the mission for which it was established, there wouldn't need to be a new office at the VA to do what the corrupt OSC is supposed to do. The corrupt and disgusting Carolyn N. Lerner takes corruption to a new level on the heals of Scott Bloch's tenure at the OSC. It's just another corrupt federal agency that could have acted to prevent the biggest Navy scandal in modern history, but failed to act to protect the whistleblower.