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American Legion calls on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign

American Legion Commander: “VA leadership has demonstrated its incompetence through preventable deaths of veterans."
By JC Sevcik   |   May 5, 2014 at 5:49 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- The American Legion called on several top Department of Veterans Affairs officials to resign Monday, citing several recent scandals including performance bonuses given to top management despite delayed medical care that resulted in veterans dying without treatment.

“As national commander of the nation’s largest veterans service organization, it is with great sadness that I call for the resignations of Secretary Shinseki, Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel and Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey,” said Daniel Dellinger, who heads the 2.4 million-member American Legion.

“VA leadership has demonstrated its incompetence through preventable deaths of veterans,” he said, referring to a recent scandal in Phoenix.

“But The American Legion expects when such errors and lapses are discovered, that they are dealt with swiftly and that the responsible parties are held accountable,” he added. “This has not happened at the Department of Veterans Affairs. There needs to be a change, and that change needs to occur at the top.”

After CNN broke the story on the Phoenix VA’s secret wait list, an investigation was launched and the management there was put on administrative leave.

Shinseki, a retired four-star Army general who was wounded in Vietnam and served as chief of staff of the Army from 1999 until 2003, was nominated in 2008 by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate the next year, and has been called a “transformational figure” by other veterans’ groups who say the VA is much improved under his leadership.

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