VA leader that was rehired last month fired again
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Sep 20, 2017
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.”