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CVA to Congress: Investigate sexual harassment at VA and restore accountability

The Hill Capitol Building in Shadows

By Concerned Veterans for America

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a duty and responsibility to provide needed care and benefits to veterans. But misconduct, harassment, and a lack of accountability consistently get in the way of that mission. 

The House Veterans Affairs Committee recently voted to subpoena documents regarding sexual harassment in the VA’s Office for Resolution Management, Diversity and Inclusion. Seems like the last place where harassment would have been taking place, but alas. 

Last year, two whistleblowers alerted members of Congress to “unwarranted sexually suggestive and aggressive messages” from a member of senior leadership at ORMDI. That was only after they reported the incidents to the VA but were “mostly ignored.” HVAC initially sent a letter to try to get information from the VA secretary about the allegations, but nearly two months went by without a formal response.  

HVAC then made the letter to the VA secretary public, and several senior leaders at ORMDI left or were reassigned shortly after, including ORMDI Chief of Staff Archie Davis. 

“Now that the accused have retired, resigned, or been shuffled around the VA bureaucracy, the department would like this committee to forget about its oversight responsibilities and cede them to the executive branch,” HVAC Chairman Mike Bost said at a hearing regarding the subpoena. 

CVA joined in the call for accountability and action in a letter to Bost and SVAC Chairman Jon Tester: 

The office has fallen far short of the standard they have set for themselves, and our veterans are set to pay the price for a toxic and dangerous work environment perpetrated at the VA. Through 2023, we have witnessed unacceptable stories of veterans dying because of poor care or by bad management. The VA needs serious accountability to protect the employees and the veterans they serve.     

With this threat in mind, Congress should consider the deep impact dangerous work environments create and the downstream effects that this has on the care provided to veterans.    

The VA needs the freedom to rid itself of employees who don’t take the responsibility of serving veterans seriously. And VA employees need to know they can come to work and do their duty without the possibility of unchecked harassment hanging over them. 

CVA called on Congress to pass the Restore VA Accountability Act so that these toxic situations can be dealt with efficiently. 


Read more about the Restore VA Accountability Act.