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VA Fires Four Senior Executives in Wake of Patient Wait Time Scandal

Senior purchasing official, hospital administrators are first sacked under new law that makes it easier to purge employees suspected of wrongdoing.

The Veterans Affairs Department is firing four senior executives in the wake of a nationwide scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care, and falsified records covering up the delays. The dismissals are the first since Congress passed a law this summer making it easier for veterans who experience delays to get care outside VA's nationwide network of hospitals and clinics. The law also made it easier for the agency to fire senior officials suspected of wrongdoing, shortening their appeals process to 28 days.

Among those being fired are Susan Taylor, a top purchasing official at the Veterans Health Administration who was found to have “misused her position” and steered contracts to a private reverse auction company; Terry Gerigk Wolf, director of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, who was found to have engaged in unspecified “conduct unbecoming a senior executive”; and James Talton, director of the Central Alabama VA Healthcare System, for substantiated allegations of neglect of duty. Deputy VA secretary Sloan Gibson said Monday the VA will "actively and aggressively pursue disciplinary action" against any employee who violates VA rules or values.


-- The Associated Press