A VA Ruling You Might Not Have Heard About

May 15, 2017

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.


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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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Comments 1-50 of 80

  • Angelia Purvis

    05/18/2017 10:50 AM

    My husband worked for the Dod after he retired from the military for nine years. He was a GS 11/12 Network Administrator. There was another lady who was employed as a GS 11. She did ABSOLUTELY nothing. When she came to "work," she found ways of avoiding doing anything significant. Because they couldn't fire her, she was paid $156,000 to quit. I was outraged!

  • Adelbert L Wilber Jr

    05/16/2017 02:31 PM

    I feel obligated to comment on this, as I am a retired Navy man, but also a disabled veteran. The problems attributable to the VA are systemic. I have frequented VA facilities all across the country, including the one in question in your article, and they all have many similarities and many differences; but, one commonality they all share is mismanagement of some sort.

    In Surprise, AZ, it took me 28 days just to be seen; but that also happened in San Diego and in Kansas City. In the Kansas City VA hospital, the pharmacy is so crowded on any given day, veterans wait up up to three hours to get their medication. Vets absolutely HATE having to report there! In Colorado, the cost overruns for the new VA hospital are ridiculously high and Vets opt for Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, or Cheyenne, instead of going to their current overcrowded facility. Cheyenne's VA facility is one of the best ones I have frequented; they really seem to have it together. Prescott, AZ has an old facility, but they treat Vets fairly well.

    In San Diego, I went for a mental health appointment for PTSD, after waiting for three weeks to be seen and I waited in the lobby for over an hour and a half before making an inquiry as to why the wait was so long. The receptionist looked me up in the computer and told me I was a "no-show" in the computer. I told her I had been sitting right in front of her for an hour and a half! I was summarily told I couldn't be seen and was sent home. I, then, had three separate notices sent o me informing me of my "no-show" status and telling me I had to re-register, etc. Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic about the process and the thought of doing so.

    I have submitted three different claims to the VA for various injuries sustained over a 21 year career and, on average, it takes the VA two years to process each one. I have an appointment this Thursday, May 18th, to be re-evaluated for two of these, including PTSD and a very bad back problem. I'm willing to bet they deny my claims and take up to six more months to do so.

    Why have I gone into depth on this topic? Because it highlights some major problems I've had in dealing with the VA, and I've barely scratched the surface. Yet, these administrators, like the one in question in your article, get to sue to keep their cushy jobs, while furthering the erosion of the Administration and harm done to us Veterans. The VA needs an overhaul, and I would love to be on the committee that spearheads the effort!

  • Dave

    05/16/2017 01:48 PM

    I don't see in the constitution where it says she has a right to a job.

  • Marie dexter

    05/16/2017 01:43 PM

    This is what happens after 8 years with a president that hates our country. I can't imagine how long it will take to restore sanity and balance to our crippled nation.

  • John Eidukot

    05/16/2017 01:34 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, thank you for this article you posted. My son is a veteran who served in Afghanistan. He severe honorable. Since he has returned home he has has received nothing but sub par treatment for health issues he never had before serving. One VA doctor prescribed 20 mg. of prednisone 4 times a day and was told he would he have to take it the rest of his life. I told him to stop it immediately. They never try to solve the issues. Just take medication after medication.

  • Juanita Werner

    05/16/2017 11:53 AM

    Mr. Huckabee,
    Thank you for posting this. I never thought I'd see the day when criminals are rewarded for breaking the law.

  • Jennifer Hardy

    05/16/2017 10:53 AM

    There are not enough explitives to express the outrage I feel. Just one more example of how out of touch the Federal system is with regular people.

  • John Dohoney

    05/16/2017 09:00 AM

    I am a veteran of the USN and USNR, and if somehow criminal and incompetent negligence is not a reason for termination, then the laws need to be changed. What I hate hearing is that we as veterans raised our hands to serve this country, with blood if necessary, and for the ones that return in a diminished capacity get the honor of being taken care of by the least competent, hired by quotas, and other "social programs", opposed to the best and brightest for having served our nation. Personally, I was hoping Mr. Trump would change things, but the same person was put back in charge of the VA as during the Obama years. Can one of our own (Retired Military -- preferably Senior Enlisted) be put in charge of the VA? Can we "sub-contract" out medical care for our Vets to the most prestigious Medical Centers and shut down these death traps called VA Medical Centers? Can men and women that have served with pride be treated with dignity -- not politician dignity -- I mean real human dignity and respect. Perhaps worse than making the ultimate sacrifice, is making a partial one (like losing an eye, a leg, TBI, emotional stuff like coming home and all your buddies do not etc...) and then being told you are a baby killer. What about the guys that suffer in silence -- 20-40 years later who gave up on the VA--they just "have an accident" while out riding their Harley and go over a cliff.

  • Vernon J. Bissonette

    05/16/2017 06:48 AM

    So many scandals in our government, from the local level to the federal level. We need people to start caring about our society and country again.

  • Dan Birdsong

    05/16/2017 05:13 AM

    As an Expat living in the Philippines I use the VA in Manila. The new Director at Phoenix will not be any better. She was stashed here after she had issues in St. Louis. Here she took all the doctors off full time and put the on part time. No walk ins were allowed and patients waited for hours until their doctor came to work. Since she left things have become 100% better. Some of these individuals just don't care about Vets, they are only after a paycheck.

  • Stoney B Allen

    05/16/2017 05:11 AM

    I would have loved to vote for you Mike Huckabee, But you have went off trying to make something out of Donald Trump that hes not, He is everything that God would hate in a man, He is someone that beleaves nothing like I have heard you talk in the debates>Please don't take your self down with this piece of junk>Just keep trying to beat them things>Not join them>PLEASE!!

  • A Allred

    05/16/2017 03:17 AM

    Interesting that she can get a hearing and a ruling in some 2 years, and I have been waiting for my VA decision on a case that happened in 1988 -- that's almost 30 years I have been waiting on the VA! Why does she get to appeal and have immediate attention, when my case lingers and lingers without any decision? Why? Even with congressional inquiries...

  • Sandra Blanz

    05/16/2017 01:59 AM

    I know some behind this story and she deserved what she got, no wonder this world is in the mess it is. Disgusting.

  • Pamela

    05/16/2017 01:29 AM

    It's outrageous! Treating veterans like dirt and getting away with it. Sad, plain sad.

  • Pamela

    05/16/2017 01:28 AM

    It's outrageous! Treating veterans like dirt and getting away with it. Sad, plain sad.

  • Luella Kaznak

    05/16/2017 01:05 AM

    Unbelievable I'm so sick of the unions who protect government workers and teachers If it were you or I we would just get the boot. I'm tiered of unequal protection If they can't do their job get rid of them.


  • Debra Hayward

    05/16/2017 12:32 AM

    When is it going to end.Our Vets deserve so much more.. They have been treated so bad for the last 8 years.Its time they get treated right.

  • James (Jim) Cooper

    05/15/2017 11:39 PM

    The swamp is broad and deep. I can only pray that our President (and yes he is OUR President) has the staying power to keep working at draining it. It is a formidable task but, until it is done entrenched civil (?) servants will continue protecting themselves. It is a shame for those who really do want to serve. We are in a lot more trouble than we realize.

  • Mary Jo Stanton

    05/15/2017 11:18 PM

    This has to stop, beyond wrong, talk about rewards for bad behavior and breaking the law, please help us change the law.MJS

  • Kathy Thompson

    05/15/2017 10:54 PM

    This is absolutely appalling and more evidence of how and why powerful unions have contributed to the problems of honest hard working Americans. This woman clearly violated every policy there is and was legitimately fired. Only and idiot liberal court determined to make law and not interpret it would make this ruling.

  • Lila Beavers

    05/15/2017 10:53 PM

    I think you are right, there are many things that need to be changed in our system. I pray that President Trump can get it done. Drain the swamp like he said.

  • Judy Cotts

    05/15/2017 10:52 PM

    Once again you have nailed it Gov. Huckabee!!

  • Sherylyn

    05/15/2017 10:45 PM

    We no longer feel entitled, we are now constitutionaly entitled. Crazy! What in the world. Where is the critical thinking. This type of ruling is jntentional for the purpose of destroying our nation.

  • GEORGE THIESSEN

    05/15/2017 10:27 PM

    WHO DO THESE JUDICIAL PEABRAINS THINK THEY ARE MAKING NEW LAWS

  • Any mouse

    05/15/2017 10:25 PM

    Do you want to know why you received no media attention? Look how many people commented on this story. The linked article from 3 days ago only has 22 comments. You know well enough that it takes 250,000 signatures to get a petition going onWhiteHouse.gov. So I guess only have 249,977 more people to care enough to type a single letter.

  • Louise Brummett

    05/15/2017 10:14 PM

    I totally agree with you Governor. It is shameful that a federal employee is allowed to steal from the American people & not face the consequences. Our Congress needs to have some guts & pass laws and enforce current laws.

  • Terrence Michalski

    05/15/2017 10:12 PM

    Perhaps if we abolish the VA entirely...................
    I'm am sure that a Probation Violation could be found somewhere for this woman, and then a time within the Prison System should validate the termination.
    Absolutely insulting for myself and all my brothers and sisters who served with HONOR!
    Liberal Judge needs to be RETIRED...............

  • Charlotte Elbe

    05/15/2017 10:00 PM

    My husband is a veteran and I get so frustrated at the things that happen at the VA. To ensure that he is receiving the proper meds, etc., we check with a private doctor anytime the VA doctor changes anything. The prescription medicine provider, Medco, cares only that they can provide the cheapest meds. The dosage prescri ed by the doctor is ignored if that particular med only comes in a different dose. He was put on a particular drug for a condition he has. The VA also prescribed Nexium but the provider denied him this med because they felt it was too expensive, eventhough he has Barrets and Nexium actually helps to reverse the problems it causes. Spouses also have to accept higher med dosages for the same reasons. Hearing aids, glasses, etc., are the cheapest found anywhere. My husband has been offered the same glasses frames for the past few years. The hearing aids don't work half the time and he has to go back to the VA. they send them out for repair and it takes 4-6 weeks to get them back. One time, they cleaned them but did no repairs and sent them back in the same condition! I'm grateful that he and I can get some meds through Medco, but they need someone to oversee what they are offering to veterans.

  • Susan Lawson

    05/15/2017 09:57 PM

    Dear Governor, you are one of the few people in politics that I feel are honest and trustworthy. Our president is trying so hard to turn the country around and the left puts up a roadblock every where he turns. Please keep supporting him and keep us informed because you are truthful.

  • Bobby joe Faglie

    05/15/2017 09:23 PM

    There is nothing to be done! I am one hundred percent disabled Viet Nam vet. and had my primary doctor Fowler at the Waco , Texas v a refuse health care to me because she thought I wasn't polite enough . I have gone to all the chain of command and have been told I can do nothing ! I have been without health care or medication for over two years . The v a is a swamp and I don't think we have the time to drain it !

  • Julie Simmons

    05/15/2017 09:19 PM

    I am a daughter of WW 1, sister of WE 2, wife of Korea, mother of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and aunt of veterans of these horrendous wars. I have naturally been following what has been going on with the inept and cruel treatment of our veterans. I am thinking the General Federation of Women's Clubs needs to take a stand for cleaning up the mess. Your piece I just read here is indicative of the corruption at all levels of government these days - a form of the entitlement mindset pervading our country. Once in- forever there no matter what kind of behavior exhibited. Praying for our country at all levels now is my only hope for true change. Thank you for your voice of sanity, the work you continue to do to make people aware of truth.

  • Denise Johnson

    05/15/2017 09:09 PM

    This really just pisses me off - I swear some people just think they ate untouchable - everyone is replaceable

  • Debi Rogers

    05/15/2017 09:08 PM

    As the wife of a Vietnam veteran, I am just shocked at this. This is wrong on so many levels!!! What ever happened to common sense in this country?

  • Kathleen reeves

    05/15/2017 09:03 PM

    I am speechless. Is there no way to bring suit against such outrageous, egregious, policies that protects workers that are clearly in the wrong. I work in healthcare. How is it that being in a union exempts you from gross negligence and improper accepting of gifts that clearly violates many laws

  • John Chambers

    05/15/2017 09:02 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, Sir I'm a 71 year old VET and live in Alaska. VA is pretty good here but my friends I served with, mostly live in the lower 48, and we all say the same thing, we watched out for you, so who now is watching out for us. We're not looking for handouts, just a little help now and again dealing with something that we don't intirely understand.
    Thanks for listening

  • Gentra Barnhill

    05/15/2017 08:56 PM

    This kind of scandal IS EXACTLY what needs to be changed in our "SYSTEM". The system is BROKEN when woman can get awaykterky with murder and get "rewarded" for it with a BONUS??? Really???? Tjis is how our vets are treated??? I know first hand it is how they are treated because a very good friend of ours that is viet man vet is tested this way when he goes to the VA Hosp!!! His wife had to finally take him to private doctors fo fed him treated!!!! Shame shame on us!!! He was a decorated sniper and gave Everything except his life!!!
    This is a travesty these men are treated like this!!!
    This woman is a CRIMINAL AND WHU TJE HELL IS SHE NOT FIRED?? Wrong wrong! I have NEVER BEEN SO DISGUST AS I AM RIGJT NOW WITH THE TRASH That IS GOING ON AND THE COVERUPS and no one is doing anything about it and when President Trump tries he is belittled and made fun of!!! He is a good president and the left won't let him do his job, yet they sat back while OBAMA literally raped the UNITED STATES! He covered his stink like a cat covers his poop!!! He was a disgrace to the United States!! Hilary Clinton is a thrift, a liar, a murderer and power hungery. She is a criminal on so many levels I don't have the time or paper to write it all down!! Pure and simple CRIMINAL!!!!
    Please please keep ppl aware of trash like this so we MAy Can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? But like you said the media won't cover the TRUTH THEY ARE TOO BUSY SPREADING LIES!!
    By the way your dtr did an EXCELLENT JOB LAST WEEK THE DAY SHE STOOD IN FOR SPICER! Excellent!!!

  • Diane Giroux

    05/15/2017 08:56 PM

    Outrageous! I had no idea that the Constitution was sexist! (She said sarcastically!). It is so disheartening how far we, as a nation, have strayed from logic, morals and God! Gender is not a determining factor in guilt or innocence. What ever happened to right and wrong. If you break the law, you are responsible and deserve to be punished! I just don't understand!

  • Stephanie Gustafson

    05/15/2017 08:45 PM

    What!!??? Unbelievable! What is the court thinking!! ?? My husband is a Vietnam veteran who has had some terrible encounters with different VA centers, a VA emergency room, and a VA hospital in 4 different states including Phoenix Arizona, so we know first hand how badly the VA system is broken. Come on Congress. Get to work and do your job! Work together with the Trump adminstration to clean the VA Administration swamp of incompetent federal workers ASAP. So how about putting successful BUSINESS men and women in charge of everything VA before more veterans suffer under the current disgraseful system?

  • Matt Guldjord

    05/15/2017 08:45 PM

    Where to begin! I'm a veteran and have used the VA before. I had 4 knee surgeries while in the Air Force. I started having problems again. The VA would only do xrays and said there was no change. Used my insurance to see a surgeon and after a much more thorough exam I was told I needed another surgery. That was 10 years ago. Still haven't done it. Why is it the best of us have to deal with such incompetence, greed, and dishonesty? We vets are the cream of the crop and the benefits we EARNED are horribly mismanaged by some of the worst our society has to offer.

  • Frank Chaco

    05/15/2017 08:31 PM

    Hi Mike,
    For the likes of me, I can't understand why President Trump hasn't and doesn't just clean house by firing all the obama appointees and management and judges hired by that regine. They have caused so much damage to our country and continue to do so each week. They are causing more headaches and leaks and delays to President Trumps agenda as well. As for this story, it seams yet again we have another politicized judge from the obama regime creating their own law instead of following our existing laws including the Constitution. I'll try to remember to share this story on many of my Facebook pro!-Trump groups.

  • Dianne Roberts

    05/15/2017 08:08 PM

    The unions have out lived their usefulness. The are taking money from workers to line their pockets. They are corrupt and overpaid, defending the corrupt and incompetent.

  • Lynn Russom

    05/15/2017 08:06 PM

    This is shameful. Seems like to me one thing that would help is to hire vets in these positions. It would not take many classes for a retired RN, if any, especially if they had their MSN to be a hospital administrator. I think they would be more sensitive to vet's needs. This woman seems like she does not even have any shame for the death she caused for the men & women who served so she could take the lobbyist's money, go to court & sue, & all the other shameful things she is doing. She needs to go crawl under a rock with a Bible & read the book of John. And she also needs to meet my Savior!

  • Lynn Christine

    05/15/2017 07:59 PM

    First off I read your website all the time, news I can trust. How could this person live with herself. How can her co workers bear to be around her. How can she look herself in the mirror and like what is looking back? I love your daughter. You were my 1st choice during the primary. I now support Trump 100%. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. This women needs to be fired and criminally charged.

  • Shelly Stauring

    05/15/2017 07:44 PM

    How ridiculous can our justice system possibly get?!?! As a retired military person myself, I've seen it many times over where, short of death, you can't get rid of a civilian federal employee no matter how incompetent or criminal they are. And there's something wrong with that picture!!!!!!

  • Audrey Holliday

    05/15/2017 07:37 PM

    I have had many experiences with generational governnent workers for years, local, state, and federal employees - people who were hired because of who they knew or who they were kin to. They work in schools, hospitals, Social Security, and DMV centers, in court houses, welfare offices, coal companies, and some are the rudest, most inept people I have ever had to deal with in my life. Those are the ones who have been hired, not for their intelect and certainly not for their people skills but because they had a relative or several relatives somewhere in the system. Where does it say that taxpayers have to put up with a heirarchy of unqualified people who continue to ignore the rights of our citizens, especially those citizens who have given their all to protect this great country?

  • Richard P Heine

    05/15/2017 07:37 PM

    That's the problem with State and Federal employees belonging to unions. Unions have no business representing Govt. employees! Govt. employees should have the same chance of reward for doing a good job, and same chance of dismissal for doing a bad one. This HAS TO CHANGE!

  • Connie MacKirdy

    05/15/2017 07:26 PM

    It's hard to believe that in this day and age someone like this person can't be fired. She sould be held accountable for the deaths her negligence caused as well! It's an outrage!

  • Paul F. Allen

    05/15/2017 07:17 PM

    I agree with Mike's closing statement! America must get back to its constitutional roots. I believe it was God-inspired! Let's be rid of political corruption and political correctness!

  • Carol A. Loughead

    05/15/2017 07:08 PM

    Judges are becoming more idiotic every day. Are there no true moral decisions anymore ? Unethical!

  • Nancy Duchaine

    05/15/2017 07:01 PM

    This outrageous. I have never had a job that I could not be fired from and I worked as nurse than administrator at quite a few hospitals. How could someone who has been found guilty of a crime, then made it worse by supervising the wait list issues (experience tells me it probably wasn't the only problem present under her watch) have her firing overturned as unconstitutional? Seeing as how unions were not guaranteed by the constitution maybe we should do away with unions