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Eric Shinseki Resigns As VA Secretary

Submitted by on May 30, 2014 – 12:47 pmNo Comment

Susan Walsh/AP

President Barack Obama has accepted the resignation of veterans affairs secretary Eric Shinseki. The move comes after fraud and misconduct at the department were revealed to be more widespread and systematic than previously thought.

“With considerable regret, I accepted [Shinseki's resignation],” Obama said at a press conference following a meeting of the two this morning. “We don’t have time for distractions,” he added. “We need to fix the problem.”

Shinseki, a retired Army general, inherited a VA already rife with problems. But recent revelations showed that high-level administrators were encouraging employees to falsify records to show shorter wait times for treatment; some alleged that many vets had died while on wait lists.

Republicans had long called for Shinseki’s resignation; but when an independent review this week confirmed the widespread falsified records, even some Democrats joined in.

“Our first priority should be the veterans, and at this point whether Secretary Shinseki will stay or go is too much of a distraction,” said Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a former VA official and veteran who lost both legs in Iraq. “I think he has to go. He certainly loves veterans, but it’s time for new leadership.”

Obama announced that Sloan D. Gibson, deputy secretary of veterans affairs, will take over as acting secretary.

[via The Washington Post]

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