Fitzpatrick Calls on Feds to Investigate Philadelphia VA

His request follows reports of data manipulation and mail destruction, which were recently brought to light before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) today urged federal law enforcement authorities to investigate potential criminal activity at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Regional Office.

His request follows reports of data manipulation and mail destruction, which were recently brought to light before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

According to whistle blower testimony and VA Office of Inspector General findings, VA staff allegedly inappropriately shredded and destroyed military and returned mail that could not be delivered. Claims dates were also manipulated, the report found.

VA employees and supervisors benefited financially by manipulating claims dates, Fitzpatrick said in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI, the Untied States Postal Service and United States District Attorney Zane Memeger.

Fitzpatrick said since VA bonuses are tied to claims processing and performance, some employees received bonuses over $2,000 while improperly addressing veterans’ claims. 

“I urge you to consider opening an investigation into these allegations. The unlawful destruction of veterans’ claims and correspondence is a serious issue,” Fitzpatrick wrote in the letter.

“The fact that data may have been manipulated so that certain VA supervisors and employees could get bonuses, at the expense of veterans’ pension and disability claims languishing in the backlog, is unconscionable and deserving of further investigation," he said in the letter.

Fitzpatrick participated in a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing Monday, where he questioned VA staff and administrators.

Ken Carlisle July 17, 2014 at 08:49 AM
Jim Starowicz July 17, 2014 at 08:53 AM
With Miller, in the House holding attack only hearings, and Burr as minority using attack only questions, in the Senate, both ranking members of Veterans Affairs Committee's, as leads in the continued obstruction!! "Reid: House GOP holding up VA talks" And Who Says Politics Doesn't Play From Within the Agencies to the Branches Especially to the Legislative to keep the costs, or create costly 'scandals', way down in the VA. Oh and they got Bonuses too!! While, once again and for decades, nothing was done by Congress to help the VA but the usual, underfunding or seeking cuts to the budgets and especially nothing by the conservative controlled congresses under the bushco, just as they, countries Poser Patriots and the Media, wanted while waging two long wars!! Prior too this present Executive and Veterans administrations: October 23, 2008 - And now VA investigators are trying to figure out if this one-time survey points to the likelihood that documents have been improperly destroyed for months or even years. "Whatever this problem is, it didn't just start in the last two weeks," said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. "It'd be unreasonable to assume that. Who knows what's been destroyed." The documents, which didn't have duplicates at the VA, would have been critical in deciding veteran pension and disability claims. As a result, many veterans are asking whether their delayed or denied claims were affected by lost paperwork. read more>>> Oct 16, 2008 - VA claims found in piles to be shredded October 24, 2008 - House panel will target VA shredding February 11, 2009 - Veterans' Claims Found in Shredder Bins ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans "DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War." 'Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort' 'The War On Military Records' USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**
Jim Starowicz July 17, 2014 at 08:53 AM
'Congress {Conservatives in Both House's, DeJa-Vu!!} Scrambling to Lower Cost of Bill to Fix Veterans' Health Care' “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013 There is only one branch of the government that's been consistent, now for over five yrs., in helping us Veterans, long ignored or denied issues by those served, as well as Military personal and their Families, the Executive Branch and it's Cabinet, because those served through their representatives won't and wouldn't previously!! Trying finally to build what the Country promised, decades and wars from ignored their responsibility, and the conservative ideology is to privatize, bringing in all the problems and bottom line corporate executive mentality, for corporate profit off the peoples treasury. They don't control the Countries purse strings and the VA is the Responsibility of the Country Served, the Poser Patriots who use Veterans as political pawns!! “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration Ahhh yes, it's just so easy to, Peoples Representatives, Rubber Stamp, wealth enhancing through investments, War Costs that are all borrowed, no offsets mentioned, on our credit with interest payments and in these recent two kept off the Countries books till Executive Administrations changed!! Then use same, Political Poser Patriotic Theater, for the decades of 'scandals' created by ignoring the Veterans of who served in and the issues from and doing patch work on which create more 'scandals' to use, including making sure the agency stays years behind the technology advances causing extremely costly problems that are then obstructed in fixing! Meanwhile, DeJa- Vu all over again, the Veterans Bill sits in the House going no where!! They got the Gen. "Mission Accomplished" , their, problem solved!!! Poser Patriots, the 99% Served, especially conservative ideology, like it that way, been so for decades and wars from continuing the stand for them flag waving patriotic free wars, Afghanistan and Iraq still not paid for, and ignoring the results from. Decades of under funding, while ignoring many issues, the peoples responsibility the VA. Still grossly under funded, two tax cuts with these wars, in just recent history as Shinseki, with help from the entire Executive Branch, sought to bring it into the 21st century and as the people served promised from beginning, budget still mostly borrowed!! Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014 USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**
Stephanie Palmer July 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM
I suppose that he wants the DOJ to fund this investigation. Just a guess, but could this nasty issue have anything to do with the fact that Fitzpatrick consistently has voted decreases in the VA budget and yet supported bonuses? Why would he want to use our tax money to pay bonuses to a thoroughly disfunctional organization? The VA has been disfunctional for at least two or three decades. Why spend our money without coming out with new management? As usual, Fitzpatrick is more than a day late, and many dollars short. But then it's election season, and he thinks we will forget that as he voted to cut the budget of the VA, he was voting for oil and tobacco subsidies. What a guy.
John Motyka July 21, 2014 at 01:46 AM
This Congressman voted against ANY funding for expanding VA facilities and services. He obstructed legislation EVERYTIME as instructed by House Majority Leader Boehner. He was absent to his own swearing in ceremony in 2013. What nonsense...jdm


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