I tweeted about this story several days ago in hopes it would stir up some media attention and public outrage, but it was largely ignored, even though it about 10,000 times more outrageous than the long-overdue firing of James Comey. A federal court ruled this week that the firing of the woman in charge of the Phoenix VA clinic that was at the heart of the waiting list death scandal was unconstitutional. She could even appeal to be rehired now.
She wasn’t even fired because veterans were kept waiting for medical care until they died, or for allegedly falsifying records to cover it up. She was fired after being convicted of accepting thousands of dollars in undeclared gifts from a lobbyist and sentenced to two years’ probation. First, a court ruled that she could keep over $9000 in bonuses she got from taxpayers during that time, and now, her later firing has been ruled unconstitutional. You’ll have to follow the link to see the reasoning. Although frankly, I’ve read the ruling and the Constitution (many times) and somehow missed the part that says incompetent, criminal federal workers can’t be fired. I can’t imagine the Founders even thinking that should be inferred from the Constitution.
This past week, some leaders of the public employees union were calling for stronger protections for federal workers who fear being fired by political officer holders (like the guy Americans sent to Washington partly because they wanted him to say, “You’re fired” a few thousand times.) Is there any other industry in the world where you can literally have people die on your watch, lie to cover it up, and still keep your job and get a bonus? (Or run for President?) If James Comey and this woman can’t be fired, then who in blazes CAN be?
It is time for Congress to enact serious reform of government union contracts, but not to make it harder to fire people. In the real world, there’s a word for such firings that currently doesn’t exist inside the government bubble: “accountability.”
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