VA leader that was rehired last month fired again

The former director of Washington, D.C.’s veterans hospital who was rehired after he appealed his dismissal through the Merit Systems Protection Board, has been fired again under new regulations enacted by the Trump administration.

Brian Hawkins was fired earlier this summer for “failing to provide effective leadership,” and mismanagement after an inspector general’s report found that the hospital had unsterile work conditions and frequently ran out necessary medical equipment, among other issues.

The MSPB issued a stay in the firing in August, forcing the agency to rehire Hawkins while the board reviewed the case.

Meanwhile, a new IG report found that Hawkins sent sensitive information to private email accounts belonging to him and his wife. The emails were found while the IG was investigating whether Hawkins had purposefully delayed an Administrative Investigative Board inquiry about thousands of dollars in employee bonuses given without justification.

New legislation, also signed into law this summer, created more repercussions and a faster firing process for VA employees, and it also lowered the standard for evidence that the agency needs before it takes disciplinary action.

That new legislation, coupled with the most recent finding by the IG, allowed the VA to fire Hawkins again.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a written statement announcing the second firing that the “…VA will use the authorities available to ensure our veterans get the highest quality service and care possible, which followed a federal board forcing the agency to take the director back last month. This is the right decision for veterans in D.C. and employees at the medical center.”

Reader comments

Thu, Sep 21, 2017 SamG Northeast

The VA system has 49,000 opening because NO ONE wants to work for the US Government and the VA. Of course the facility was not perfectly clean ___ that is what happens when there is a constant shortage of employees to get the work done. Blaming this guy for the systemic problems at the VA is not justified. He had no choice other than to pay bonuses to key personnel or they would have also left the VA.

Thu, Sep 21, 2017 Sheryl DC

It's sad...every employee I know at VA is becoming miserable & can't wait to leave!!.. I hope they don't lose all the worthy people. They have a tremendous mission, but I fear they are still missing the forest for the trees. The most incompetent people at the top & long-time administrators carry on. One big problem with the DC VAMC is that they have too many eager patients!! They form lines & are out the door!...There is NO Parking for miles.. This can easily lead to shortages, etc. The number of patients is totally out of control there.

Thu, Sep 21, 2017

Just think, under Obama this man would have been promoted and given a very big bonus. God Bless President Trump.

Thu, Sep 21, 2017

HIP HIP HOORAY, NEED more actions like this. LOIS LERNER FOR ONE.

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