• Speaker of House introduces bill to make it easier to fire officials from VA

    By: Justin Gray


    WASHINGTON - Channel 2 Action News has learned that Speaker of the House John Boehner wants to change a law that would make it easier to fire bad employees within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Channel 2 Action News was the first to report on patient deaths tied to mismanagement at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
    Nobody was ever fired at the Atlanta VA because of those deaths.
    “It’s time to clean up this mess,” Boehner said Thursday as he launched a new effort to fix VA mismanagement.
    Channel 2’s Justin Gray was inside the Capitol with several veterans as the speaker made the announcement.
    Gray reported on Wednesday about internal VA documents that showed 19 veterans died because they didn't receive screenings like colonoscopies when they should have.
    He had to chase a top VA official down the stairs trying to get answers.
    Channel 2 Action News was also the first to report on three veteran deaths tied to mismanagement at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
    We've uncovered through sources that while two people retired from the Atlanta VA, nobody was ever fired for their roles in those deaths.
    “It's disgusting,” said Haralson County veteran Sammy Robinson. “It's unreal. It just makes you sick when the soldiers go out and fight the war and come back and can’t get treatment. What is going on here?”
    The new bill would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki more authority to punish and fire managers in situations like at the Atlanta VA where they find proof of mismanagement.
    “The people we entrust to run this agency should have the power to fire and discipline those who have let down the men and women who have served this country,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
    Georgia Rep. David Scott has called for the VA secretary's resignation. Boehner said he doesn't agree with that Thursday.
    Instead, he wants to give the secretary more power to fire bad bosses.

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