Politics

VA Told Congress It’s Firing Official Who Already Announced His Retirement

The Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) told Congress that it’s firing a top official — who already quietly announced his retirement.

John S. Goldman, medical director of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia, announced his retirement on September 22 after 42 years. The Vinson facility was one of many VA health centers that falsified patient wait times.

VA even sent out a September 22 press release announcing Goldman’s retirement.

“Today John S. Goldman, director of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center (CVVAMC) in Dublin, Ga., announced his retirement after 42 years of federal service,” VA stated.

But then on September 26, VA’s national office sent a regional press release to congressional staff announcing that Goldman has been “proposed for removal” by VA.

“We wanted to pass along this regional press release,” VA official Janko Mitric wrote in an email to congressional staffers obtained by The Daily Caller.

“Yesterday, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed removal of the Director of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center (CVVAMC) in Dublin, Georgia, following an investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General, and a follow-up review by the Office of Accountability Review (OAR), in which allegations of data manipulation were substantiated,” the press release stated.

“The proposed removal of the director underscores VA’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and get Veterans the care they need,” the release continued. “Relying on new statutory authority, the Deputy Secretary  took this action in coordination with OAR, which reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”

Mitric declined to comment for this report, forwarding TheDC’s inquiry on to the VA public affairs office, which replied with a formulated response that made no reference whatsoever to our question. “The purpose of this proposed removal is to honor our commitment to hold all senior executives accountable for their actions and to ensure continuity of leadership for employees and Veterans at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center,” said a VA spokesperson.

Recently departed VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told Congress in March that VA dismissed six top officials even though only one was fired and three were actually transferred to different top positions at VA.

UPPDATE: House Committee on Veterans Affairs chairman Rep. Jeff Miller released a statement regarding the revelations above:

“Bragging about the proposed removal of someone who has already announced his retirement can only be described as disingenuous. Department leaders must not tolerate this instance of what appears to be blatant deceit,” Miller said. “Such semantic sleights of hand are insulting to the families struck by the VA scandal and only do more harm to the department’s badly damaged credibility.

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