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Updated May 16, 2014 - 12:50 pm

No. 2 man at VA Dr. Robert Petzel resigns

A Department of Veteran Affairs official has resigned Friday, as the agency tries to overcome negative attention and criticism over issues at its health care facilities.

Undersecretary Robert Petzel stepped down two weeks after saying an early review of corruption allegations at the Phoenix VA hospital showed no signs of wrongdoing.

Peltzer was the second-highest ranked member of the department.

The announcement was posted to the VA site by its chief, Erik Shinseki, and also tweeted out:

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"As we know from the Veteran community, most Veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care.

"I am committed to strengthening Veterans' trust and confidence in their VA healthcare system.

"I thank Dr. Petzel for his four decades of service to Veterans."

Shinseki has spent his last few days in front of a Washington panel defending himself and his department from accusations of secret lists, long waits for treatment and engineered numbers. Some of the veterans left waiting eventually died.

A retired Army general, Shinseki said he was "mad as hell" about the allegations and promised action if an investigation proved the agency was at fault. He has said he would not resign.

The director of the Phoenix VA, Sharon Helman, and two aides were placed on leave May 1.

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