Victory For VA Whistleblower

Bradie Frink is an disabled veteran employee at the Baltimore Regional Office (BRO) of the Veterans Benefits Administration.  As per policy, his veteran folder could not be stored at the same facility where he worked.  He discovered it was unable to be found when attempting to add one of his children as a beneficiary to his disability payments.

The folder was lost, a search ensued and after several requests, he found it necessary to go over the VA's administration head to get help.

He contacted (sic) Sen. Barbara Mikulski on June 5, 2013, with a complaint that the VA was unable to make important service-connected disability payments to him and his family. Mikulski launched an inquiry and forwarded the complaint letter over to BRO, which sparked near immediate retaliation. Incidentally, during the time when Mikulski sent the letter over, BRO was being watched for how it was processing benefits claims.

The VA terminated Frink during his probation on what they called misconduct, though he had a clean performance record.  The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) investigating the case found no evidentiary support, inconsistent testimony, and that the termination was an excessive penalty for a misconduct violation.  Also they ruled that the termination was in fact in retaliation.

The fairy-tale ending is that Frink has had his position restored, with back pay and emotional damages awarded.

“The constitutional right to petition Congress must be guaranteed for all Americans. Federal agencies cannot deny their employees this right even if it leads to scrutiny of their operations,” said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner in a statement.

Source: Daily Caller




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