A Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) employee took a recovering vet to a crack house in Tuskegee to buy illegal drugs and solicit a prostitute, but is still employed by the VA over a year after the events occurred, according to a report by the Montgomery Advertiser.
An internal investigation also found the employee to be guilty of a wide range of other infractions, including “patient abuse, misuse of government vehicles, filing false overtime requests and multiple ethics violations.” But according to the CAVHCS employee directory, the individual is still employed by the VA. It is unclear if any administrative or criminal action was ever taken against the individual.
The VA’s official investigative report details a March 2013 incident in which the employee took a veteran receiving treatment for drug addiction to the home of a known drug dealer in Tuskegee. The patient reportedly engaged in oral sex with a prostitute and bought illegal drugs with the employee. The patient was left at the drug dealer’s house overnight, and assured by the employee that he would not be drug tested upon his return to the VA.
Local police officers in Tuskegee confirmed in the report that the location is widely known to local drug enforcement officers as a house where drug dealers and prostitutes do business.
That's not a misprint. A VA employee took a recovering vet to a crack house, bought drugs, claimed overtime pay for it and is still employed
— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) August 18, 2014
These revelations are just the latest in a long and growing list of allegations of misconduct at the Central Alabama VA that started with a report that employees were falsifying records to coverup long wait times.
Central Alabama VA director James Talton initially told Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL2) that he had fired the offending employees.
Days later, one of the whistleblowers at the Central Alabama VA came forward to Yellowhammer, revealing that Talton was being untruthful. Several employees involved in the scandal were demoted, but not fired. The whistleblower further claimed to Yellowhammer that the VA employees who brought the scandal to light were actually the ones who got fired.
At least 900 unread patient X-RAY tests – some showing malignancies – were lost until recently, and top hospital administrators tried to cover up the problem.
A VA pulmonologist was found to have manipulated more than 1,200 patient records, and yet, went on to receive a “satisfactory performance” review.
CAVHCS even had problems paying its bills on time, which affected its ability to depend on local hospitals to help with increased demand.
The list could go on.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Rep. Roby penned a letter to newly confirmed VA Secretary Robert McDonald requesting that he craft a plan to address the allegations of mismanagement and abuse at CAVHCS. The letter also requested that Secretary McDonald personally visit the CAVHCS facility in Montgomery with Shelby and Roby in order to discuss the details of the plan.
“This isn’t over,” Rep. Roby predicted in mid-July. “Expect more to come to light moving forward.”
Unfortunately, it appears she was right.
Roby recently sat down with Yellowhammer to discuss some of the issues at the VA. The video of the interview can be viewed below.
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