VA ‘Candy Man’ May Keep His Job Despite No Medical License

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Luke Rosiak Investigative Reporter
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“Candy Man” Department of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Houlihan, who drugged veterans with massive and dangerous combinations of painkillers, may keep his job and VA has instructed employees to call the police on any reporters who enter the hospital to keep them from finding that out.

VA said the Tomah, Wisconsin hospital’s chief of staff was fired Nov. 9 after being on paid leave for almost a full year.

But he is not actually gone. In the VA’s union-dominated environment, where people are routinely reinstated with back pay, an entire week will be dedicated to appeals from the disgraced doctor, insisting he should remain on the taxpayers’ payroll — even though he has been stripped of his medical license and couldn’t possibly do the job.

A Disciplinary Review Board will consider his appeal between April 11 to April 15.

Victoria Brahm, the hospital’s acting director, wrote Friday that all employees should call the police on any news reporters who are at the hospital that week.

“[I]f you see members of the media on campus not being escorted by Matthew Gowan, Tomah VAMC Public Affairs Officer, please contact the VA Police Department,” she wrote in a message to all hospital employees, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

VA has claimed that it is very easy to fire doctors, in order to make the argument that administrative personnel should be given massive pay raises to the level of doctors, with the trade-off being that they are forgoing job security.

If Houlihan can’t easily be exorcised from the VA, it is doubtful that anyone can. He cannot even practice medicine because his license has been suspended by the state. The state licensing board said it was obvious he is “downright dangerous.”

At the encouragement of their union, the American Federation of Government Employees, VA employees who are revealed to have taken part in astonishing misconduct will do almost anything to avoid trying to seek employment in the private sector. Phoenix hospital director Sharon Helman is suing to get her job back even after she has been convicted of a felony for her corrupt conduct at work.

They are often successful. A nurse’s assistant has been on paid leave for a year as he awaits a trial for manslaughter in the beating death of a veteran, and the VA said it will impose no discipline for the beating.

The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed how astonishingly out-of-the-norm Houlihan’s use of opiates is. Oxycodone pills prescribed annually went from 100,000 to 700,000 after he was hired.

The full email is below.

Good morning Team Tomah,

VA is conducting a Disciplinary Review Board (DAB) for Dr. David Houlihan, former Tomah VAMC Chief of Staff, from April 11 through April 15 here on campus. The purpose of a DAB is to hear appeals of major adverse actions based on a question of professional conduct or competence. The DAB is a closed session and part of an ongoing hearing. Those involved in these proceedings are aware.

There is a possibility that the hearing will attract media attention. The media will not be allowed on the campus while the DAB is meeting as we do not want to disrupt the environment for our residents, Veterans coming in for healthcare services or staff. Therefore if you see members of the media on campus not being escorted by Matthew Gowan, Tomah VAMC Public Affairs Officer, please contact the VA Police Department (x61244). These proceedings should not disrupt our work. If you have any concerns, please contact your supervisor.

Thank you for all you do to support the Veterans we serve.



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