VA may have retaliated against workers who reported wrongdoing

BY Matthew Daly, Associated Press  June 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — An investigative agency is looking into allegations that Veterans Affairs supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed whistleblower complaints, including some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing VA scandal.

The independent Office of Special Counsel says it has blocked disciplinary actions against three VA employees who reported wrongdoing. One of them had been suspended after complaining to the VA’s inspector general about improper scheduling.

The report comes amid a growing furor over allegations patients waited three months or more for appointments as VA officials falsified records to cover up delays at hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The VA’s acting chief, Sloan Gibson, said Thursday that 18 Phoenix area veterans whose names were kept off an official VA appointment list have died.