Monday, July 6, 2015

VA’s embattled watchdog to step down
The chief watchdog for the Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that he is retiring this week after months of criticism that his office failed to aggressively investigate wrongdoing in the troubled agency.
Richard Griffin, who has served as acting inspector general since 2013, had come under fire from members of Congress, whistleblowers and veterans’ groups for being too cozy with leaders of the agency that his office is supposed to investigate for fraud, waste and abuse.
His departure, first reported by USA TODAY and Military Times, comes a day after a group of whistle blowers from VA medical clinics and hospitals around the country wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to fire Griffin, calling the inspector general’s modus operandi a “horrifying pattern of whitewashing and deceit.”
In announcing Griffin’s departure on its Web site, the inspector general’s office said that in the past six years it has issued almost 2,000 reports and conducted investigations that led to more than 11,000 arrests, indictments, convictions and administrative sanctions.
“Your collective effort and hard work have resulted in a remarkable record of performance and outstanding achievements,” Griffin told his staff, according to the announcement.

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