Veterans Administration locations across the country have been the subject of a great deal of scrutiny over the past year and half. A recent report reveals a manager at the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs’ regional office tweeted out threats to whistleblowers last year on the same day investigators arrived at the location to inspect allegations of fraud at the facility.
The account used the handle @lina_g148, which led many to believe it was the account of Lina Giampa, a human resources manager for the Philadelphia VA. The agency is looking to suspend or fire eight employees who were involved in the scandal and whose part in it was revealed during the investigation. These employees were involved with changing the dates of claims to make it look like there was a reduced backlog at the VA. Investigators also discovered more than 31,000 inquiries from veterans in the area were not responded to for more than a year.
The tweets, apparently directed at the whistleblower who alerted authorities to the fraudulent practices, read: “Your accomplice is a piece of *expletive* too. Say it to my face. Oh wait — that would require guts which you don’t have you coward. #coward.”
Another tweet read: “So all you need to do is make false allegations and suddenly it’s gospel. You know who you are you piece of *expletive*. You & your accomplice.”
These tweets, sent in June 2014, were only recently discovered. Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania sent a letter to the Philadelphia regional VA director asking for a timely investigation into these tweets, as threatening a whistleblower is a serious offense.
To learn more about the rights of whistleblowers and the protections they have against retaliation, meet with reliable Dallas attorney Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers.