U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan on Wednesday said the results of an interim Veterans Affairs inspector general report made her conclude that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should resign.
The report, released Wednesday, found that staff at Phoenix VA medical facilities used faulty scheduling to cover up wait times for appointments. It said 1,700 veterans were placed on an unofficial waiting list in Phoenix. But it didn’t reach any conclusions about whether delays in getting appointments caused 40 deaths as has been alleged.
Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, said she was “outraged” by the findings.
“When allegations of serious misconduct at the Phoenix VA hospital and others around the country originally came to light, I said we need a full investigation to determine the facts and hold people accountable,” she said in a statement.
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“Now that some of the most serious allegations have been confirmed by the independent investigation, we can no longer put our faith in the current VA leadership’s ability to fix these problems.
“Secretary Shinseki has served our country honorably over many decades, but in the interest of regaining the trust of our veterans, and implementing real and lasting reforms, I believe it is time for him to step aside and allow new leadership to take the helm at the VA to correct these failings immediately.”
Her Republican counterpart, Sen. Richard Burr has also called for changes in the VA leadership. And House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is running for Hagan’s Senate seat, has made Hagan’s earlier stance – to wait for the results of the investigation – into a campaign issue. Last week, he accused her of refusing to hold the Obama administration accountable.