VA challenged on handling of whistleblower charges

Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson holds a press conference at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center June 5, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (File) (Laura Segall, Getty Images)
Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson holds a press conference at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center June 5, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (File) (Laura Segall, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/23 1:26 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson has said that he is deeply disappointed that whistleblower complaints about patient care are not being taken seriously.

He is agreeing with the federal official responsible for investigating complaints from government whistleblowers that the VA hasn't taken those complaints seriously.

In a letter to President Obama, Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said the VA continues to say patient care has been unaffected by errors. She said that is preventing the VA from taking necessary steps to improve.

Lerner said the office is reviewing more than 50 complaints alleging threats to patient health and safety and has referred 29 of them to the VA for investigation.

Gibson said he has told the agency's workforce that intimidation of whistleblowers won't be tolerated.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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