Acting chief says VA won't tolerate intimidation

By Matthew Daly

Associated Press

Published: Friday, June 6 2014 10:01 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 6 2014 10:01 p.m. MDT

Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson speaks, Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Phoenix. It was Acting Secretary Gibson's first visit to Phoenix since taking over the agency amid an investigation that found 1,700 veterans were kept off the official waiting list for care at the troubled Arizona hospital.

Matt York, Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson is warning VA administrators that he won't tolerate intimidation or retaliation against anyone who calls attention to problems within the veterans' health system.

Gibson spoke Friday at a news conference in San Antonio after visiting a VA facility there.

Federal investigators are examining allegations that VA supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed "whistleblower" complaints. It included some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing scandal within the VA system.

Gibson said the VA would follow laws that forbid whistleblower retaliation.

The scandal has centered on long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

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