VA chief pledges end to whistleblower retaliation
The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs spoke Tuesday in St. Louis and said the beleaguered federal agency is making progress on a host of problems that led to his predecessor's forced resignation. Former bank executive Sloan Gibson took over the VA in late May following the resignation of Eric Shinseki amid an uproar over treatment delays and falsified records at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide, including reports that dozens died awaiting treatment. Gibson told the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Affairs that he's frozen hiring at VA central offices and suspended senior performance awards for the year. He also vowed to crack down on whistleblower retaliation one day after a private government watchdog released a critical report on the agency's treatment of whistleblowers.