In a press release from March 1, 2016, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has announced that it has proposed disciplinary action against three attorneys on the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and has also filed a complaint against two Veterans Law judges. According a complaint made by Sloan D. Gibson, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the individuals have allegedly been involved in misconduct involving a pattern of inappropriate emails with sexist and racist tones.
According to Gibson, the actions of these individuals completely counter the values of the VA and undermines the trust Americans place in the administration to effectively care for our nation’s veterans. “Taking action as quickly as we did was simply the right thing to do.”
The emails were uncovered in an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation. The VA was informed early on in the investigation as a proactive measure, and has responded by promptly assigning the employees to non-adjudicative duties pending disciplinary action. Accountability actions against these individuals have been referred to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Disciplinary actions against two of the attorneys were proposed in January, with a lesser administrative penalty proposed for the third.
The VA is now reviewing the appeals handled by these individuals, and is also examining comparative statistical data from internal quality review processes and appeals of Board decisions to the federal courts.
See the official VA press release online: VA Takes Accountability Actions against Board of Veteran Appeals Personnel.