VA whistleblower: Retaliation followed after telling White House about abuses

posted at 2:01 pm on July 9, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Did the White House leak whistleblower identities during its investigation of abuses at the VA? Last night, one such whistleblower testified to Congress about what happened after he sent information to White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, and it wasn’t pretty. Scott Davis got challenged by his manager, had his work record altered, and got kicked out of his assignment and eventually placed on involuntary leave — and he’s not alone in suffering retaliation (via Daniel Halper):

“The harassment I’ve experienced at the HEC from top levels of management include: my whistleblower complaint to White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors was leaked to my manager … who stated in writing that she was contacting me … My employment records were illegally altered … I was illegally placed on a permanent work detail … I was placed on involuntary administrative leave, curiously, at the same time … Unfortunately, my experience is not unique at VA. Darren and Eileen Owens who work at the Atlanta VA medical center have experienced the same retaliation for reporting medical errors and patient neglect as well as misconduct by senior VA police officials.

“Our local 518 union president … is routinely harassed as a direct consequence of assisting me and other disabled federal employees with retaliatory action by members of management.”

How exactly did Davis’ name get from Nabors’ office to his manager? Congress had better take a close look at that leak, because it strongly suggests that the White House may have interfered with the investigation rather than tried to solve the problems at the VA. That could be a case of incompetence, or it could be something else entirely — but either way, Congress needs to hold the White House accountable for it, even if that only means public exposure for now.

ABC calls whistleblower retaliation the “VA’s newest scandal,” and the cases are rising after the exposure of wait-list fraud two months ago:

The Veterans Affairs scandal is taking a new turn as a special counsel is receiving a growing number of complaints from employees that the agency retaliated against them for attempting to expose problems.

Carolyn Lerner, special counsel with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee Tuesday night  that her office is investigating 67 cases of  alleged retaliation against whistleblowers at the VA.

“The number increases daily,” Lerner said, adding that since June 1, her office has received 25 new complaints of retaliations from employees claiming they were whistleblowers.

Scott Davis wasn’t alone among whistleblowers who suffered retaliation at the hearing, either:

Among the other witnesses at the hearing was Christian Head, a physician and quality-assurance official for the VA’s Los Angeles health system, who said one of his bosses used an embarrassing slideshow presentation to punish him for aiding an investigation of her alleged time-card abuses. He said the supervisor is still serving in the same capacity for the VA, even though an inspector general recommended that she be removed.

Head held up a copy of one slide that his supervisor showed at the event. It contained a picture of him on his phone, and it said: “If all else fails, he reports you to the inspector general at the VA.”

“In front of 300 individuals, I was labeled a rat,” the physician said. “I was labeled the person who ratted out this person.”

Another offered a warning to doctors — don’t fill out an employment application at the VA:

Katherine Mitchell, who works at the Phoenix VA, told the committee that the agency has intimidated any employee who raises information that could be detrimental to the agency, discouraging new doctors from considering the VA for employment. “Just because someone has an MD doesn’t mean they have ethics,” Mitchell said. “I wouldn’t recommend that people get a job at the VA as physician until there are changes.”

The newest scandal may be retaliation, but it’s now looking like the White House isn’t just a passive (and incompetent) player in the scandal.


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but it’s now looking like the White House isn’t just a passive (and incompetent) player in the scandal.

Ya think…?

d1carter on July 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Obama and the political class consider these people enemies to be destroyed. Remember this.

rob verdi on July 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Scott Davis just hates black people.

mankai on July 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM

No way. The White House went after whisteblowers? But they never did that with Benghazi…oh wait.

Doughboy on July 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Hackarama. And Øbama, after hearing all of this, does nothing (except go to fundraisers).

He will probably hear about it on CNN tonight….

DimsdalePiranha on July 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I watched this live. The testimony was intelligent and compelling — can’t understand why it isn’t front page news./s

horatio on July 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Congress had better that a close look at that leak,

Oh great! Another committee that will probably end up doing nothing. If they can’t someone fired or arrested for Benghazi or Fast and Furious what makes HA think anything will be different with a VA investigation. The GOP leadership is complicit as far as I’m concerned.

Deano1952 on July 9, 2014 at 2:09 PM

“The harassment I’ve experienced at the HEC from top levels of management include: my whistleblower complaint to White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors was leaked to my manager … who stated in writing that she was contacting me … My employment records were illegally altered … I was illegally placed on a permanent work detail …”

Wow, Nabors clearly broke the law. For that he will suffer the consequences. Boehner will cry. Issa will wring his hands. Nabors will get a bonus and be forced to retire at 105% of his current salary.

Justice in America, c.2014

mankai on July 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Not a smidgen of scandal…

sandee on July 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Hitlarian means, starting from the illegal invasion to the VA and beyond.

I blame the media foremost.

You, you know who you are, are culpable in the blackout of news and wrong-doing.

YOU no longer earn the protections given to you so freely with the 1st amendment.

If the media, most of them, don’t wake up, I hope the IS will chop their heads off. They are being watched. The media allow the HHS, homeland and other brownshirts to get away with Hitler’s means, in America today.

It’s the most dire issue today, aside from the illegal invasion of the USA, initiated and enabled by obama/the DIABLOs.

The creation of the IS caliphate is the foreign issue most dire.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

my whistleblower complaint to White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors was leaked to my manager

Nobody is madder than Obama……at whistleblowers.

Bitter Clinger on July 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

The wrong man was imprisoned during a politically partisan witch hunt over who leaked the name of a CIA desk jockey.

This will barely get a “ho-hum” from the media.

Harry Reid is wondering why all the VA whistleblowers are white.

Left Coast Right Mind on July 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

obama said when he ran that whistle blowers will be protected and encouraged by him.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

He should have used a dog whistle, that would’ve gotten the media’s attention.

Flange on July 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Nothing to see here
-lsm

cmsinaz on July 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

… but either way, Congress needs to hold the White House accountable for it, even if that only means public exposure for now.

No way can we depend on Eric Holder and / or the Justice Department getting involved here. They’re so involved on the IRS scandal …

majorzot on July 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Mr. Davis didn’t utilize an “authentic negr0 dialect”, nor did he seem all that clean and articulate so we would be right to have skepticism about his testimony.

Actually, he seems almost as white as Clarence Thomas, and you know what a racist scumbag he is.

Bishop on July 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

The White House retaliated? Shocka.

Who is more petty and thin-skinned than their boss? I ask rhetorically.

BigAlSouth on July 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

verbie and liblikeaslave, how do you defend this?

everpisso/lester, you too?

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Rut Row, the whistleblower is black? That puts the media in a pickle now doesn’t it? Maybe they’ll have to at least give a 3 second mention on the Nightly’s?

nahhhhh..

Tim Zank on July 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Racism, straight up.

ToddPA on July 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

David Burge @iowahawkblog · 39m

On a VA waiting list?
1. Walk into Mexico.
2. Get a fake ID that says you’re a Honduran 15 year old.
3. Walk back.
#DavesTips

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

This guy’s a dead ringer for Gary Busey…

ToddPA on July 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Obama cultists have much to hide. It will all come creeping to the surface.

Faster, please.

faraway on July 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Why is the VA so racist?

Slab Bulkhead on July 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

“Leak” defined: Anything that suggests Obama is incompetent. Which is pretty much everything he does.

BobMbx on July 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Hackarama. And Øbama, after hearing all of this, does nothing (except go to fundraisers).

DimsdalePiranha on July 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

And play pool and drink beer in Colorado High.

Wade on July 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Not a smidgen of scandal…

sandee on July 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Keep your scandals straight!

IRS is the not a smidgen one.

The VA is the one that made Obama madder than hell.

Good thing we appointed a soap salesman to fix the problem.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

I was just wondering what the next scandal would be to distract from the previous scandal that was causing Obama to take too much heat. There we go.

joekenha on July 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Fascists use retaliation…who knew?

workingclass artist on July 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Has the administration called the fellow in the photo a racist yet?

Bmore on July 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Obama cultists have much to hide. It will all come creeping to the surface.

Faster, please.

faraway on July 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Oh! I think the widow whose husband got an appointment two years after his death is a story that will continue to recur.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Why does the word incompetent seem to always crop up when describing this administration?

Oh, wait.

rightside on July 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

How exactly did Davis’ name get from Nabors’ office to his manager? Congress had better that a close look at that leak, because it strongly suggests that the White House may have interfered with the investigation rather than tried to solve the problems at the VA. That could be a case of incompetence, or it could be something else entirely

Incompetence? Really? The incompetence card has been played out. Somehow, on January 20, 2009 everyone in the federal bureaucracy got incompetent?

Or is it more of case that an administration that believes in big government doesn’t want any challenges that would call into question the efficacy of government and will take the iron fist out of the velvet glove and come down hard.

rbj on July 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

This whistle-blower is just riled up over a on line video. What difference does it make now?

Wade on July 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Obama is going to be real mad when he learns about this.

Aizen on July 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Just refusing to go along with corruption can get you fired as I well know. One wonders who is really protecting the people from corruption or worse. Who can you trust to help you. When my immediate supervisor complained about what was going on, the government regulator told him he would have to report him to his employer; the end of that whistle-blower effort, he was “fired” too and his failure resulted, in part, with his suicide.
Notice that no one has been arrested in any of these Obama scandals.

amr on July 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

You can take the thug out of Chicago, but you will never get the Chicago out of the thug.

ConstantineXI on July 9, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Why did he notify anyone in WH, it has nothing to do with Community organizing.

Wade on July 9, 2014 at 2:22 PM

The Obama cultists have much to hide. It will all come creeping to the surface.

Faster, please.

faraway on July 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

BREAKING: White House initiates plan to deal with all current scandals, once and for all.

BobMbx on July 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

Carnac on July 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

VA whistleblower: Retaliation followed after telling White House about abuses

This administration has brought Washington racketeering to new highs.

We sit around criticizing Banana Republic regimes, the likes of Assad, Hussein, Qadaffi, Amin, Chavez, Castro, Mugabe, and so on. What’s the difference?

Oh, that’s right…we have more and bigger awesome monuments, public buildings in DC with really really really big columns and friezes, John Wayne movies, and Davy Crockett. We be better than them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 9, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Some people don’t accept corruption and incompetence. Obama seeks it out …. and promotes it!

LouisianaLightning on July 9, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Has Harry Reid called him a “white guy” yet?

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Just wait until those whistle blowers start getting audited by the IRS.

GarandFan on July 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

I’m beginning to think Obama just may get himself impeached yet.

Saverio on July 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Never forget Barry is at base a punk.

He’s only as tough as the gang around him and really hasn’t got the guts to face anybody in the eye (middle finger salute, etc…).

Of course, they’d “leak” names.

At least Nixon had a drop dead list and made no bones about it.

formwiz on July 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

OT- via Drudge

Ted Cruz sent the rat-eared wonder directions to the border from his fundraising stops in Dallas an Austin. One less excuse for why he can’t make it down to the humanitarian crisis he created.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Gee a president and a bureaucracy looking out for No. 1. who would of thought it?

warmairfan on July 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Gee a president and a bureaucracy looking out for No. 1. who would of thought it?

warmairfan on July 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

You excuse the Pimp who’s Chief.

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2014 at 2:39 PM

When the president Obama reads about this in a few days, he is going to be madder than anyone…

right2bright on July 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I’m beginning to think Obama just may get himself impeached yet.

Saverio on July 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Would be nice, and appropriate…but will never happen.

right2bright on July 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Why does Obama hate black people?

Ward Cleaver on July 9, 2014 at 2:43 PM

I’m beginning to think Obama just may get himself impeached yet.

Saverio on July 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

He should go the border and announce that he’s issuing an executive order giving sanctuary to all the parasites currently streaming over from Mexico. That’d be the final straw.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Since it will never happen, why doesn’t someone just loudly tell the truth as to why..” No matter how many crimes Obama commits or abets, no matter how often he violates the Constitution, we will not impeach him because he is black. The Press would use any impeachment as grounds to foment an unrest that would make the riots in the 1960s look like a Tea Party demonstration and people would get killed. So we will tolerate any damage, any injustice and allow any unrightable wrongs to occur as to not cause a dangerous press and an ignorant, impulsive population to cause death and destruction and then lay the blame on us”.

clnurnberg on July 9, 2014 at 2:53 PM

He’s just another white guy trying to make a black president look bad.

RUexperienced on July 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

This guy’s a dead ringer for Gary Busey…

ToddPA on July 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I was going to say Donald Sperling.

OT- via Drudge

Ted Cruz sent the rat-eared wonder directions to the border from his fundraising stops in Dallas an Austin. One less excuse for why he can’t make it down to the humanitarian crisis he created.

Happy Nomad on July 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

This is one reason I think Cruz is the man. Call it a stunt, but he always has a clever way to get in Obama’s grill and under his skin.

BuckeyeSam on July 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Come on Hot Air Lefties, explain this one for us.

Cindy Munford on July 9, 2014 at 2:55 PM

This is one reason I think Cruz is the man. Call it a stunt, but he always has a clever way to get in Obama’s grill and under his skin.

BuckeyeSam on July 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

If it bugs the Wan One, Im all for it.

Lord Whorfin on July 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

In February 2010 Nabors, became senior advisor to then-White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, who is now the Mayor of Chicago…

In November 2011, Nabors was included on The New Republic’s list of Washington’s most powerful, least famous people.

Do you feel Wiki, punk?

cbenoistd on July 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

How exactly did Davis’ name get from Nabors’ office to his manager?

Gee, I wonder . . . .

AZCoyote on July 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Just more evidence, as if any were needed, that the Obama administration is a criminal cabal.

AZCoyote on July 9, 2014 at 3:25 PM

This is what happens when the party of government is in power

Tater Salad on July 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

White guy in black face viz Kardashian

Wade on July 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM

VA whistleblower: Retaliation followed after telling White House about abuses

…who will do anything about it?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 9, 2014 at 5:17 PM

“WAR on Vets” and whistleblowers.

Sven on July 9, 2014 at 6:39 PM

It’s well known that The One hates the military and, therefor, vets. He’s just ensuring that we go meet our Maker in an expeditious manner.

vnvet on July 9, 2014 at 8:55 PM

I watched one very articulate black man lay out the problem in the VA, what he did and what happened to him on Neil Cavuto.

When finished I said to myself THAT guy is the guy I want heading up the division taking care of me.

But what happened? The union driven, money corrupted middle management tried to run him out.

The F-ed with the black guy!

And nobody on the Dem side cares.

Which should tell the rest of the blacks in America who really loves them….

archer52 on July 10, 2014 at 1:07 AM

amr,
This is a truly tragic and corrupt thing that has happened to you and your co-worker. Can you say what the reported activity was? People, this system needs to he turned over to private care paid for by taxpayers and charitable giving. No way it can’t be better than this corruption.

winoceros on July 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM