Search Site

Whistleblowers Claim Retaliation Continues to Run Rampant at VA, Despite New Accountability Office

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has made it known that it is working on new policies, training and guidelines to create a better culture for whistleblowers within the organization. However, VA employees and the whistleblower community believe the culture of retaliation continues to affect life at the agency.

The wait time scandal at the VA that was first revealed in 2014 did a lot to bring attention to the deficiencies of the department, but three VA whistleblowers say the retaliatory nature of the department that existed for decades continues to be a problem even after new legislation was passed by congress to attempt to curtail it.

In one example, the Senior Executives Association reported the situation experienced by senior executive Leslie Wiggins, a network director for the VA hospital network. According to SEA, the VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) investigated her  five separate times and threatened to fire her. VA management disagreed with the removal, so the office then attempted to convince her supervisor to suspend her.

Wiggins’ legal team reviewed the evidence OAWP gave to the official overseeing her case only to find the documents had been tampered with. The department ultimately found the charges against her had no evidence to support them, but OAWP continued to investigate. Wiggins’ legal team believes OAWP acted in such a way because she had uncovered and disclosed unlawful conduct by the accountability office.

Whistleblower reports crucial to a healthy government

There is still a long way for the VA to go with regard to its whistleblower culture and its efficiency of operation, but without reports by whistleblowers, nothing would have changed.

Therefore, if you are a government employee and are aware of wrongdoing within your agency, work with a trusted whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to submit a whistleblower tip and protect your privacy and your rights in the process.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.