The House Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman slammed the Phoenix VA Health Care System for reinstating two administrators who had been put on paid leave during a lengthy investigation into allegations made in April 2014 that they manipulated backlog data to ensure personal annual performance bonuses.
"The fact that the department took 19 months to reach the conclusion that employees collecting paychecks should be required to work is simply mind boggling. Right now, VA leaders owe the public an explanation for why they wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars paying these employees to sit at home while apparently taking almost no action to investigate the allegations against them," Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., wrote in a statement released Friday night.
Lance Robinson, previously the associate director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, and Brad Curry, formerly the system's chief of Health Administration Services, will return to work with the VA on Monday. Robinson has been assigned as a planner at the Gilbert, Ariz., office. Curry will work as a data analyst.
The year and a half probe into both men recently hit a dry patch when the U.S. Attorney's Office denied the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee interviews with key witnesses.
Robinson's attorney, Julia Perkins, claimed the investigation has slowed down because VA officials could not make a case against her client.