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