Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald reported that Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman is “still on the government payroll” on Monday’s “Wolf” on CNN.
McDonald said “what we do is when there’s an indication that there could be a violation of one of our values, we take that person and we move them out of operation right away because we don’t want any harm to occur to our veterans” when asked about whether Helman had been terminated, but added “she’s still on the government payroll.”
When asked to respond to criticism from members of Congress regarding the failure to fire employees like Helman, he stated “I’m following the law. If a member of Congress wants me to follow a different procedure, they need to pass a different law. The law says that with this level of an employee, what’s called a senior executive service employee, I have to propose a disciplinary action. That disciplinary action gets judged by a judicial process and then, only then, does it get resolved. I need to make sure that every single one of these results in a positive disposition consistent with my proposal. Again, if Congress wants me to follow a different procedure, they have got to pass a different law. The only thing the new law did was it took the appeal time and cut it in half.”
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