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Chairman Miller Statement on Cincinnati VAMC Personnel Actions

Feb 25, 2016

Today Chairman Miller released the below statement regarding VA’s announcement that Veterans Integrated Service Network 10 director Jack Hetrick will retire and Cincinnati VA Medical Center Acting Chief of Staff Dr. Barbara Temeck remains employed at VA.

“Almost every day we are reminded that the federal civil service system is designed to coddle and protect corrupt and incompetent employees and that the Obama administration’s refusal to address this dysfunctional status quo is doing real harm to veterans and taxpayers. The latest installment in this depressing saga is VA’s announcement today that VISN 10 Director Jack Hetrick will retire – likely with full benefits and a lifetime pension –  and that Cincinnati VAMC Acting Chief of Staff Barbara Temeck will remain on the department’s payroll making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the foreseeable future. A VA investigation has already substantiated that both employees committed serious misconduct in violation of multiple VA regulations and quite possibly the law, yet both of these individuals are still collecting taxpayer-funded paychecks. What’s worse, a recent Obama administration proposal the department claims will increase accountability at VA would do absolutely nothing to prevent similar instances of taxpayer abuse in the future. Enough is enough. It’s time for VA to get in step with Congress, veterans and taxpayers and get behind commonsense congressional proposals like the House-passed VA Accountability Act, which would enable VA to quickly purge corrupt and incompetent employees from the payroll and prevent convicted felons from sneaking out the back door with full taxpayer-funded pensions. Until then, situations like this, in which taxpayers are forced to subsidize bad behavior, will only continue.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Related
The VA Accountability Act would give the VA secretary the authority to swiftly fire or demote any employee for poor performance or misconduct while protecting whistleblowers and limiting the agency’s ability to place misbehaving employees on paid leave. It would also give VA the ability to recover annuities on pensions of VA employees convicted of felonies committed on the job. It passed the House in July of 2015 and is pending in the Senate.

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