VA Secretary Resigns Amid Growing Scandals at VA Facilities

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid explosive charges of mismanagement, falsification of records and systemic problems at veterans health facilities.

President Barack Obama announced that he accepted Shinseki's resignation "with considerable regret" after meeting with him on Friday morning. Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson will serve in the post temporarily until a permanent successor is announced, Obama said.

The controversy about mismanagement at Veterans Affairs hospitals has been brewing since an April report that dozens of veterans on a “secret waiting list” in Phoenix, AZ, died while waiting for care. Intense political pressure against Shinseki reached a crescendo this week as prominent lawmakers from both sides of the aisle called for his ouster, including a steady stream of Republicans and many Democrats who are facing tough elections in the fall.

A VA inspector general’s report released Wednesday showed that over 1,500 veterans at the Phoenix facility were kept off of an official waiting list. The report also found that such scheduling manipulation was “systemic” throughout the veterans’ health care system.

Earlier Friday, Shinseki apologized for the problems and promised to “use all authority at our disposal to enforce accountability among senior leaders who have been found to have instigated or tolerated irresponsible or dishonorable scheduling practices at VA health care facility.”

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