ShareThis Page
Another VA crock: Coddling retaliators |

Another VA crock: Coddling retaliators

| Monday, December 21, 2015 9:00 p.m

Vows to reform the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs ring hollow when retaliators against two principal whistle-blowers remain on the payroll a year after an internal report recommended their firing.

Dr. Katherine Mitchell blew the whistle on the infamous secret waiting lists at the Phoenix VA facility, spurring a nationwide uproar. And Paula Pedene, a legally blind public affairs officer, reported the misuse of money at the Phoenix VA hospital. Both endured retaliation for speaking up, The Washington Times reports.

But their alleged retaliators, Dr. Darren Deering, the Phoenix facility’s chief of staff, and Lance Robinson, the hospital’s associate director, never received “appropriate administrative action” as recommended by the internal audit. Dr. Deering remains on the job while Mr. Robinson has been collecting paid leave since May 2014, The Times reports.

The VA says it’s still reviewing “voluminous evidence” — more than a year later.

What’s revealed yet again is a glacially moving, self-preserving bureaucracy that ignores its own recommended corrections while struggling to erase the stigma of shoddy care that’s been attached to it. Even worse, it leaves in place the same inexcusable mindset that deprived health care to Americans who wore their country’s uniform.

And that’s inexcusable.

Categories: Editorials
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.