Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
MSPB forces VA to take back fired official, VA exploring all options under new accountability authorities
August 9, 2017, 02:08:00 PM
MSPB forces VA to take back fired official,
VA exploring all options under new accountability authorities
On August 2, the Vice Chairman of the federal Merit Systems Protection Board ordered a stay of VA’s removal of the former director of the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center.
MSPB’s stay order requires VA to return Brian Hawkins, fired on July 28, to work pending the Office of Special Counsel’s review of Hawkins’ claim that he was wrongly terminated.
VA has complied with the order and returned Hawkins to the payroll, but to an administrative position at the VA headquarters in Washington rather than to a patient-care position at the VA Medical Center.
“No judge who has never run a hospital and never cared for our nation’s Veterans will force me to put an employee back in a position when he allowed the facility to pose potential safety risks to our Veterans,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “Protecting our Veterans is my most important responsibility.”
The stay order came one day after the VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG) issued a new report finding that Hawkins violated VA policy by sending sensitive VA information from his work email to unsecured private email accounts belonging to him and his wife.
VA will quickly make an assessment of Mr. Hawkins’ employment using the new evidence and armed with the new authorities recently provided by the VA Accountability Act signed into law by President Trump in June.
Disclaimer of Hyperlinks
The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Veterans Affairs of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized VA activities, the Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of meeting the mission of the Department and the VA website. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.