An internal email sent from Illinois 8th Congressional District Candidate to fellow staff at the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs reveals she wrongfully terminated whistleblower at a Veterans Affairs facility under her jurisdiction.
In a debate between Duckworth and Congressman Joe Walsh (D-IL), Duckworth responded to Walsh's claims that she was being sued by the whistleblower, by calling Walsh a liar, and did not acknowledge the accurate claim, that she was in fact being sued.
In the email, Ms. Duckworth seeks to strategize with fellow V.A. staff to "justify" her deciding to fire the employee and admits she "screwed up."
Here is the video of Ms. Duckworth dodging the allegations:
Walsh's campaign released the following statement:
Tammy Duckworth faces a lawsuit from two whistleblowers from within the Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for wrongfully terminating and humiliating one employee and threatening the whistleblower's job unless she "keep (her) mouth shut." Earlier this week the Washington Free Beacon revealed an internal email from Duckworth, where she acknowledged that she "screwed up" in wrongfully firing the whistleblower and called on her staff to give reasons to justify the firing.
...in an interview with WBBM Duckworth dodged the issue of the lawsuit and sought to again humiliate the whistleblowers in public to preserve her own image.
Duckworth stated, "If I find a government employee who is not doing his or her job, who is wasting taxpayer dollars, I will not hesitate to get rid of that person."
Congressman Joe Walsh later reacted, "I find it disturbing that Tammy Duckworth would once again drag these two whistleblowers' reputations through the mud in order to save her own campaign. These two women work to serve Veterans, and Ms. Duckworth is quick to throw them under the bus and imply they didn't do their jobs."
Walsh added, "Ms. Duckworth indicated to the press that she had a just cause for firing the whistleblower, but what isn't clear is that if she terminated the employee for a good reason then why did she even acknowledge that she 'screwed up'? Why did she demand her staff to give her a reason to justify her attempt to silence a whistleblower? I believe Ms. Duckworth owes these two women and all who serve our veterans an apology for publicly slandering them."
Walsh concluded, "It's clear Ms. Duckworth takes no issue with tarnishing the public reputations of those who dedicate their careers to serving our veterans. The irony of Ms. Duckworth's statement is that if anyone is guilty of tax dollar waste it would be Ms. Duckworth. At the Illinois VA, she misreported or misspent $4 million in tax dollars and yesterday it was revealed by House Chairman Jeff Miller that the federal VA is subject to subpoena for its abuse of conference spending. An abuse Ms. Duckworth played a key role in with the planning of a $2.5 million Hawaiian boondoggle."