Corker, Alexander Call For Immediate Senate Investigation Of Veterans Affairs Scandal

Friday, May 23, 2014

Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Lamar Alexander, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and 23 of their Senate Republican colleagues sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations today requesting “an immediate investigation into reported mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption within the Department of Veterans Affairs health care centers throughout the country.

“Specifically, the investigation should focus on how appropriated funds for patient care and record management were spent in light of allegations of concerted efforts to present inaccurate and misleading information about patient wait times in order to ensure VA employees qualified for personal bonuses,” wrote the senators.

“Given even the slightest hint of a possible organized effort to fabricate information critical to the care of our nation’s veterans, an immediate investigation should be conducted to determine if the health care of our veterans is being put at risk. We request your committee join the effort to thoroughly investigate and expose the facts surrounding this situation.”

Last week, Corker and Alexander wrote to VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki calling on the VA to conduct a “thorough, open and transparent” audit following reports of neglect at some of its medical facilities, including allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delayed care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The senators also asked Shinseki to provide specific information regarding the average time Tennessee veterans are waiting for care at VA facilities.

Full text of the letter is included below:

Dear Chairman and Ranking Member:

We are writing to request an immediate investigation into reported mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care centers throughout the country.  Specifically, the investigation should focus on how appropriated funds for patient care and record management were spent in light of allegations of concerted efforts to present inaccurate and misleading information about patient wait times in order to ensure VA employees qualified for personal bonuses.

Recent reports have alleged VA employees created “secret” waiting lists, shredded official documents and engaged in other nefarious activities in order to cover-up backlogs of veterans’ claims.  Media reports have suggested that these “secret lists” were maintained in some cases to garner better data for year-end performance bonuses.  If true, these despicable acts are at the very least improper expenditures of government funds, and at worst may have contributed to the deterioration in health or even death of some of our brave veterans. This potential appalling behavior towards our veterans, mismanagement of government funds, and breach of public trust certainly warrants your committee’s full attention.

Given even the slightest hint of a possible organized effort to fabricate information critical to the care of our nation’s veterans, an immediate investigation should be conducted to determine if the health care of our veterans is being put at risk. We request your committee join the effort to thoroughly investigate and expose the facts surrounding this situation.

The federal government’s commitment to honor our nation’s veterans and provide them with proper care should never be called into question. Any allegations of such a heinous conspiracy as to engage in personal profiteering at the expense our veterans’ wellbeing by the very public servants entrusted to care for our veterans must be taken seriously and not ignored.

Thank you for your serious consideration of this matter and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 


McEwen Medical Clinic Owner Arrested On Multiple Charges

A joint investigation with special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the McEwen Police Department has resulted in the arrest of the owner/operator of a clinic in McEwen on charges related to drug diversion and prescription fraud. At the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch, on March 23, TBI special agents, working ... (click for more)

Travis Close Family Asks $2 Million In Damages For Trauma During Wreck That Killed 6 People

The family of Signal Mountain realtor Travis Close is asking $2 million for trauma during a wreck that killed six people on I-75 near the Ooltewah exit. The suit was filed in Circuit Court against Cool Runnings Express, a Kentucky trucking firm, and driver Benjamin Brewer. Other similar lawsuits were filed in Federal Court. Brewer is facing six vehicular homicide chargesl ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The American Dream, 2016

On this, the week of commencement, junior high graduations, and achievement at every level is displayed, we stand with hope and wonder as the next wave of promising Americans gives our nation the reason we pray for our next tomorrow. On Monday, as Vice President Joe Biden addressed 950 cadets who would become 2nd Lieutenants by the end of the day at the United States Military ... (click for more)

Baylor Rolls Past St. Benedict In D-II Softball Opener

MURFREESBORO – The Baylor softball team had somewhat of a slow start here at McKnight Field No. 3 Wednesday morning as they began defense of their D-II state softball crown, but they finished on a strong note and that’s probably all that matters at this point. The Lady Red Raiders, improving to 35-4, needed just five innings to slide past St. Benedict as they scored at least ... (click for more)

Brentwood Academy Eliminates McCallie, 5-0, In DII-AA State Baseball

LEBANON, Tenn. – Corbin Brooksbank led off McCallie’s first inning Wednesday evening with a triple to left-center field against Brentwood Academy at Wilson Central High School. Considering the Blue Tornado had just lost about two hours earlier to Christian Brothers, in a replay of the 2015 semifinals, and the long gapper normally would have been a great morale boost. Unfortunately, ... (click for more)