VA Hospital Loses 30 Cars, Fires Worker Who Reported It

The way the VA tells it, however, Salazar wasn't let go for exposing the department's incompetence. Rather, they maintain that he was a poor worker and not performing satisfactorily, an explanation that might sound plausible at first but doesn't so much when one learns that employees who committed blatant infractions and offenses went without so much as being reprimanded and continue to work for the VA to this day:

“'Mr. Salazar described how 30 of the 88 agency vehicles were unaccounted for, explained how ten fleet cards were suspected of fraudulent purchases, and pressed the urgent need for the VA to get the situation under control,' OSC wrote.

Salazar was fired Feb. 4, 2015. The ease with which Salazar was fired — he was put on a ‘performance improvement plan,' told he didn’t meet the goals, then let go — stands in contrast to the many employees who unambiguously committed egregious misconduct and are still on the job.

For example, two felons work in management at the San Juan VA hospital, and a worker in the security office came to work each day with a GPS monitor because she had taken part in an armed robbery, which a spokesman said was irrelevant since it occurred off-duty. At another VA hospital, a nurse’s aide remains on the payroll as he awaits a manslaughter trial in the beating death of a patient.

Federal managers claim they can’t fire such employees because of civil service employee union rules, but critics claim government bosses’ pursuit of dismissals too often are halfhearted.

Punishing people who call attention to problems, instead of those who cause problems, has become such a pronounced pattern at the VA that leaders have made a concerted effort to show that they are turning the ship around.

But since they’ve been projecting that message, the drumbeat of incidents has continued, and it has even paid six-figure awards to managers that it knew to have engaged in whistle-blower retaliation.”

Source: The Daily Caller



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