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Unable to Quickly Fire Porn-Watching Employee, VA Secretary Demands Accountability Legislation Is Taken Up

By Concerned Veterans for America

Unable to Quickly Fire Porn-Watching Employee, VA Secretary Demands Accountability Legislation Is Taken Up

Arlington, VA – After the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to quickly remove an employee caught watching pornography with a VA patient, VA Secretary David Shulkin is demanding strong VA accountability measures. 

“VA has been working with Congress to ensure legislation would provide VA the ability to expedite removals while still preserving an employee’s right to due process. Without these legislative changes, VA will continue to be forced to delay immediate actions to remove employees from federal service,” the VA wrote in a statement. The VA Secretary is referring to the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, a measure that would shorten the termination and appeals process for removing bad employees while protecting whistleblowers who speak up about wrongdoings.

Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:

“It is incredibly refreshing to see Dr. Shulkin emphatically calling for strong accountability measures at the VA. Under the previous administration, the Secretaries spent most of their time denying that problems within the department existed. By acknowledging the need for systemic reform, Secretary Shulkin has taken a bold and courageous step in helping veterans push Congress to pass meaningful accountability legislation.

“An employee caught watching pornography with a VA patient should be escorted out of the building immediately, never to return. The VA is forced to retain employees like this due to incredibly cumbersome and bureaucratic regulations. To change this, the Senate must move quickly on the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, a bill supported by the President, VA Secretary, major veteran organizations, and veterans around the country who need and deserve better care than what they’re getting from the VA.”

CVA supports the VA Accountability First Act of 2017, which passed through the House with bipartisan support earlier this month. The Senate version of the bill, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), has not yet been scheduled for a vote.

If passed, the 2017 VA Accountability First Act would drastically shorten the overall termination and appeals process for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees who are found to have engaged in misconduct. Currently, that process can take months or even years. The bill also empowers the VA Secretary to recoup bonuses awarded in error or given to employees who were later found to have engaged in misconduct. Additionally, the bill gives the VA Secretary the ability to reduce the pensions of VA employees who are convicted of felonies that influenced their job performance. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that one VA hospital held a job open for its accountant while he served a prison term for killing someone and hired a convicted child molester, keeping him on VA payroll while he repeatedly reoffended.

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