McCain: VA Head Must Punish Employees

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is demanding that Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald hold employees accountable in the wake of a watchdog report that found officials have used their positions for personal gain.

“It is simply unacceptable that corrupt bureaucrats at the VA continue to abuse their positions and expand the culture of corruption that led to the scandal of gross mismanagement and neglect of our veterans,” McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, wrote in a letter to McDonald sent Friday.
The Arizona Republican sent his letter after the VA Office of Inspector General released a report finding that two VA officials abused their authority “when they participated personally and substantially in creating opportunities for their own transfers to positions they were interested in filling.”The report adds that the inspector general referred the cases to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington and that a formal decision is still pending on whether or not prosecution is warranted.McCain’s letter isn’t the first time lawmakers have shown frustration over a perceived inability of McDonald to hold VA officials accountable. House lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that would make it easier for the VA secretary to fire an employee.