The toxic VA continues to hurt veterans, women and taxpayers

The toxic VA continues to hurt veterans, women and taxpayers

DENVER—Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman suggested Tuesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs, “has an internal policy preventing it from working out a dispute with whistle-blowers who are accusing a VA supervisor of sexual harassment and assault.” The Denver Post, covered Coffman’s letter which stemmed from, “incidents with five female nurses at a VA outpatient clinic in Aurora who said they were sexually assaulted or harassed by a male nurse.”

Negative headline after another has plagued the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and concerned veterans, taxpayers and women are waiting for the VA Accountability Act to be passed in the Senate and signed into law to hold VA employees accountable for misconduct and mismanagement.

“The VA is lethal, dangerous and incompetent and this permitted-toxic culture threatens all of us. The behavior that goes on within the VA is out of a horror picture show, worse than anyone could imagine,” said Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood. “We need the VA Accountability Act more than ever and this horrific story of harassed women is unconscionable, and is one more reason to add to the long, long list of reasons why we should start looking at ways to punish the VA.”

From the Westword:

“Earlier this week, Coffman sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald expressing his concerns about the local office’s response to five female employees who complained about sexual harassment by a male nurse at an Aurora outpatient clinic.

As we first reported in a cover story back in January, ‘Tell No One,’ the women say they’ve suffered retaliation from administrators, including punitive job assignments and ‘interrogations’ in which they’ve been pressured to change their stories.”

Weeks ago, Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted “NO” on the VA Accountability Act, while the rest of the Colorado delegation voted “YES.”

The VA Accountability Act would give the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the ability to fire VA employees who are found to be incompetent, or who are found to have engaged in mismanagement or misconduct. The measure also protects whistleblowers.

“Hopefully, when the VA Accountability Act makes its way through the Senate, both of our senators vote the right way, meaning ‘YES’ we will hold the VA accountable and crack down on the monsters who work for the VA,” concluded Lockwood.

The VA Accountability Act must pass the Senate and be signed by the president before becoming law. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.