Action taken against fmr. head of DC veterans affairs medical center

The Department of Veterans Affairs has taken action against the man who was once in charge of the VA Medical Center in D.C.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The Department of Veterans Affairs has officially decided to fire the former director of the VA Medical Center in D.C., The decision comes months after Brian Hawkins was demoted in April, amid allegations of widespread problems at the VA.

He was fired "because he failed to provide effective leadership," the VA's office told the newspaper. The decision was made on Friday, and on Tuesday the VA Office of Inspector General released a report on more alleged wrongdoing by Hawkins.

The report primarily focused on his emails, outlining that he sent multiple messages with sensitive VA information to both his personal email, and his spouse's email, which is against VA policy. The report also said that there were "significant delays," in which the VA failed to provide documents to investigators in a timely manner.

The report also said that Hawkins "authorized thousands of dollars of ratings-based monetary awards without performance appraisals reflecting justification for the awards," which goes against policy.

Hawkins was originally demoted, after an April report showed significant problems at the VA. The biggest problem was that the center at times ran out of equipment, forcing them to borrow from private hospitals. They also found that 18 of the 25 sterile storage areas were dirty, which could put patients at risk. The report also showed that more than $150 million worth of equipment and supplies were not inventoried, meaning they were not accounted for.

Army Colonel Lawrence Connell will continue to lead the center, as he's been doing since Hawkins was demoted in April.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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