Although a Veterans Affairs police officer determined that a Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System employee took a patient to a crack house and helped him buy illegal drugs, the worker is still employed more than a year after the incident.
The investigation concluded that the employee brought the patient to a known crack house in Tuskegee, where he received oral sex from a prostitute and purchased illegal drugs with the employee. The patient also "owed" the drug dealer an additional $200 for the night.
The employee "borrowed" a $600 VA check from the same patient, according to the report. Police officers in Tuskegee confirmed in the report that the particular house to which the employee took the patient is known to law enforcement and drug task force members as a location where prostitutes and drug dealers are known to do business.
Two other senior leaders at CAVHCS also reported retaliation for revealing misconduct by other VA employees. Other problems included about 2,000 patient X-rays that were never reviewed, and a VA employee in 2013 who took a veteran in the drug addiction treatment program to the home of a known drug dealer and left him there overnight.
Hyde is both a patient and a former employee at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System in Montgomery. He supervised employees who took vets for treatment outside the VA. Hyde was fired after six months for unspecified misconduct. He is among dozens of people who say they faced vicious retaliation when they tried to improve conditions there or hold managers accountable.
Retired Army Sgt. Maj. Greg Kendall, a 30-year veteran with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, took a job as a public affairs officer (PAO) in the Atlanta VA after his military service. Kendall says he raised concerns about spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars promoting a local charity gala that senior VA employees planned to attend. At the time, the Atlanta office was under fire for underfunding and understaffing veteran mental health services, including suicide prevention efforts.
But the wait-time scandal in Alabama also involved misconduct, negligence and cover-up: several thousand veteran X-rays were never read, and one VA employee in Tuskegee took a veteran in recovery to a crack house to buy drugs. The employee even charged the VA several hundred dollars in overtime pay for the drug-buying binge.
In addition, some children or relatives may be able to protect a nursing home resident's house if they qualify for an undue hardship waiver. For example, if a Medicaid recipient's daughter took care of him before he entered the nursing home and she has no other permanent residence, she may be able to avoid a claim against his house after he dies. Consult with your attorney to find out if the undue hardship waiver may be applicable. 2b1af7f3a8