You're Fired: Second VA Official Gets the Sack

Sarah Jean Seman
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Posted: Nov 13, 2014 6:33 PM
You're Fired: Second VA Official Gets the Sack

The Department of Veterans Affairs has fired Terry Gerigk Wolf, the director of the Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Wolf is only the second official to have been removed from office since Congress passed a law to streamline terminations in August. In a statement Thursday, the VA claimed that Wolf was guilty of “conduct unbecoming of a senior executive and wasteful spending were substantiated.

The Associated Press has more:

The director, Terry Gerigk Wolf, had been on paid leave since June after a VA review of a Legionnaire's disease outbreak between February 2011 and November 2012. At least six Pittsburgh VA patients died and 16 were sickened by the bacterial disease, which was traced to water treatment problems at the Pittsburgh-area hospitals.

The VA said in a statement that Wolf's firing after seven years heading the Pittsburgh health system "underscores the VA's commitment to hold leaders accountable and get veterans the care they need."

To date, the VA has only fired one official: James Talton, director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. Two other targeted officials retired early to escape the official pink slip.

While the VA may be finally holding someone accountable for the outbreak two years ago, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla) claimed others are being rewarded:

"Wolf’s boss collected a $63,000 bonus days after the Inspector General attributed the outbreak to mismanagement and VA recently promoted Wolf’s deputy even though internal emails provide smoking-gun evidence he tried to hide the outbreak from the public. Though Wolf’s removal is a positive step, VA still has a lot to learn about honesty, integrity and accountability, and this action doesn’t change that fact.”

VA Secretary Robert McDonald announced Monday that the Department intends to fire around 1,000 workers.