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June 12, 2014

Veterans Administration Routinely Retaliated Against Whistleblowers, Doctors Claim

Snitches get stitches. The Chicago Way.

Though a persistent undercurrent, the [VA wait-list] scandal did not dominate discussions at the National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists (NAVAPD) conference, but a related issue rang a loud bell with participants.

Retaliation.

...

Retaliation against employee whistleblowers was again the subject of discussion during Thursday’s hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

During the hearing, Republicans Jeff Miller (Fla.) and Dan Benishek (Mich.), both of whom spoke to the NAVAPD conference, asked Robert L. Jesse, the department’s acting under secretary for health, about reports that VA employees were instructed not to talk with members of Congress.

Benishek, a physician and former VA employee, said agency doctors have told him they are "reprimanded and have this retribution if they try to change the system."

Jesse said "there was a caution put out," an "ill-worded document" advising facility directors to wait until they received data from the central office before they released information "to congressionals."

Definition of "ill-worded:" an incriminating statement which was too clear about our actual intentions.


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