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Acting chief says VA won't tolerate intimidation

Friday - 6/6/2014, 8:20pm  ET

FILE - This May 29, 2014 file photo shows the St. Louis VA Medical Center. On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill say VA leaders need to be held accountable after reports that Veterans Affairs health care centers in four Midwestern states maintained secret, unauthorized waiting lists of veterans, some of whom waited for care for more than 90 days. (AP Photo/Jim Salter)

JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson is warning VA administrators that he won't tolerate intimidation or retaliation against anyone who calls attention to problems within the veterans' health system.

Gibson spoke Friday at a news conference in San Antonio after visiting a VA facility there.

Federal investigators are examining allegations that VA supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed "whistleblower" complaints. It included some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing scandal within the VA system.

Gibson said the VA would follow laws that forbid whistleblower retaliation.

The scandal has centered on long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.


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