April 25 (UPI) — Democratic Senate committee members on Wednesday released a list of allegations against President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Veterans Affairs Department, Ronny Jackson.
The document compiled by 23 colleagues and former colleagues of Jackson includes allegations that he exhibited multiple incidents of drunkenness, engaged in reckless prescribing practices and created a hostile work environment.
The colleagues allege Jackson got drunk at a Secret Service going away party and “wrecked a government vehicle” and on at least one occasion couldn’t be reached when he was needed because he was passed out drunk in his hotel room.
It also says Jackson earned the nickname “Candyman” among White House staff because he was willing to provide prescriptions without any form of paperwork. A nurse also said Jackson wrote prescriptions for himself and would have staff write prescriptions for each other to give to non-benificiaries.
Among other accusations, the document said Jackson would regularly hand out controlled substances such as Ambien, a sleep aid, and Provigil, a wakefulness-promoting drug, to people flying on Air Force One without consulting patient history.
Jackson told reporters at the White House on Wednesday he isn’t withdrawing from the confirmation process to become VA secretary. He added he hasn’t wrecked a car and had no idea where allegations he improperly dispensed of opioids came from, Bloomberg reported.
Jackson also was accused of creating a hostile work environment and acting as a “kiss up, kick down boss” who exhibited a constant fear of reprisal and “put his needs above everyone else’s.”
Colleagues described him as “toxic,” “abusive,” and “flat-out unethical” while one nurse said working with him at the White House Medical Unit “should have been the highlight of my military career but it was the worst assignment of my life.”
The document said the 23 people interviewed “have raised serious concerns about Jackson’s temperament and ethics” and cast doubt on his ability to lead the Veterans Affairs Department.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Jackson had been thoroughly vetted by the FBI and went through three other independent investigations before being nominated.
Sanders added the administration was “continuing to look at the situation” and is weighing options regarding the possibility of withdrawing Jackson’s nomination.