The news recently has been dominated by the continuing revelations regarding the terrorist couple on San Bernardino. Suffice it to say, everything the FBI is learning is basically contradicting the claims made by President Obama in his Sunday night oration. Shocking, I know.
This Branco cartoon from Legal Insurrection sums it up perfectly:
Uh, yeah. And awesome job of vetting there, by the way.
But while the media is focusing on these terrorists, there is another bombshell I don’t want to let slip through the cracks. That would be this revelation from the NBC News channel out of Washington via Hot Air regarding the VA:
Some local Veterans Affairs employees weren’t fired despite severe cases of misconduct — including sleeping in hospital patient rooms or having sex while on the job, according to a News4 I-Team investigation.
A review of agency disciplinary records shows agency leaders issued reprimands or brief suspensions to dozens of employees who’d engaged in misconduct in recent months at local Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Martinsburg, West Virginia.
One VA Maryland Health System employee was reprimanded for failing to treat a patient who’d suffered a head injury in a medical center hallway.
In another case, an employee was issued for for leaving a medicine cart unattended at the D.C. VA Medical Center.
The I-Team also found a recent series of acts of employee misconduct at the Martinsburg Medical Center.
Some employees had sex on the facility grounds, according to the records.
In another case, an employee was found sleeping while on the job, beneath a blanket in a patient room.
Another employee was investigated for being high on cocaine while on duty.
Another worker was arrested for distribution of heroin off-the-job, but was allowed to return to work.
In an 2013 incident, the agency suspended a Martinsburg employee for bringing a loaded gun and a knife onto the grounds.
So let’s see: high on Coke? No problem! Having sex while supposedly working? Meh. Heroin pusher? Sure, why not?!
Are you KIDDING me with this??? How in the hell do these people STILL HAVE A JOB??? How do they still have a job in general, much LESS at the expense of veterans’ health and taxpayer funds?? Seriously, how INSANE is this??
Because the Veterans Affairs department is a cesspool of bad behavior dismissed, defended, and tolerated, according to their response:
(Jeff) Miller (Chairman of the U.S. House Veteran’s Affairs Committee) said the I-Team’s findings indicate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs fails to hold all of its employees accountable for bad actions.
In a statement, the Department of Veterans Affairs said, “Where performance or conduct issues warrant removal, VA takes appropriate action to terminate employment.”
An agency spokeswoman explained the decision to issue only a suspension to the employee found with the gun and the knife, which are strictly prohibited on the grounds. She said the employee was a military veteran with a strong performance ranking.
“The employee’s written and oral replies, lack of prior disciplinary action, performance, length of service, remorsefulness and potential to be rehabilitated were all taken into consideration,” she said. “The employee stated the firearm was in his vehicle because it was going to be used for target practice and he forgot it was in the vehicle. He also stated he always carries the three-and-a-half-inch knife because it is a useful tool.”
Agency records do show the VA terminated more than 1,700 employees between July 2014 and July 2015.
That is the only good news – the number of people for whom they did terminate employment. But it sure makes you wonder just what THOSE people did to get fired when being high, sleeping in patients’ rooms, or selling heroin do NOT. WOW.
Meanwhile, as the article highlighted, the VA has acted against some employees in a big way. That would be VA whistleblowers (click here to see the NBC News 4 video), as Dr. Katherine Mitchell makes clear:
Dr. Mitchell is just ONE of the physicians who blew the whistle, and who suffered retaliation from the VA as a result.
But not just doctors, but veterans themselves who blew the whistle:
It is APPALLING what the Veterans Affairs Department is doing – or NOT doing. Clearly, there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Veterans Affairs agency from top to bottom.
As Vanessa Lech said above, this needs to change NOW. People having sex at work? Gone. People sleeping in patients’ rooms? Gone. People high on cocaine?? Gone. Heroin pushers? GONE (and should be in jail). It is obscene, absolutely OBSCENE, that our veterans are being subjected to these kinds of sub-par employees. And it is a ripoff of taxpaying Americans that these people are being paid by US.
Congress needs to step it up and now. This kind of thing cannot continue to stand.
That’s what I think, anyway.
This is an Open Thread.