Atlanta VA employee posts photo of him ‘working’ in a bubble bath, sparking outrage

ATLANTA — A bubble bath, on the clock.

Channel 2 Action News has confirmed through three sources that the person in a photo posted to Instagram stories is a team leader in scheduling for the Atlanta VA Medical Center’s community care office.

The Instagram story shows him in a bathtub, legs kicked up with a federal government-issue laptop propped on the ledge. The computer is open to a March 17 staff meeting and the post’s caption reads, “My office for the next hour.”

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“He was at work, but he was just in his tub,” a VA employee who saw the photo told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray.

Channel 2 is protecting the identity of the employees who reached out to us concerned about the photo, to protect their jobs.

“It’s almost as if this employee is making a mockery of all the veterans. I can sit here in my tub and relax, and you just have to wait,” the VA employee said.

Just last week, Channel 2 introduced you to 74-year-old Dewey Kinsey, who temporarily lost his eyesight while waiting for a doctor’s appointment at VA.

The man in the tub leads a team that schedules those kinds of appointments.

“It took over six months, and I went blind. There are big problems at the VA,” Kinsey said.

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Army veteran Kevin Cleary reached out to Chanel 2 Action News in frustration after seeing Kinsey’s story.

Then he saw the bathtub photo.

“You need all hands on deck. As a matter of fact, you need more hands on deck than you have on staff, let alone people working at half capacity or whatever that might be,” Cleary said.

VA employees must sign a telework contract to work from home.

The Atlanta VA did not answer our questions on whether this employee has a telework arrangement, or if this behavior violates it.

It provided a statement that read:

“The Atlanta VA health care system is committed to our core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. We are currently investigating all the circumstances involving this incident. Upon completion of this investigation, we will take the appropriate actions.”

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“What’s the level of management going on there? Isn’t that indicative of the overall problem of getting an appointment? It’s because of the management that has things like that happen,” Cleary said.

“If you think that this is not a big deal then what is a big deal? Is it a big deal when a veteran dies?” a VA employee whistleblower told us.

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