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McCain: Flake: VA whistleblowers need protection

PHOENIX -- Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake urged the Inspector General of the Department of Veteran affairs Monday to investigate claims of retaliation against whistleblowers from VA hospital managers.

In a letter addressed to Robert Griffin, McCain and Flake wrote that he should investigate, "how management contemporaneously handled whistleblower complaints within the VA."

Both senators stated, since news of the scandal of mismanagement and neglect at VA hospitals broke, current and former VA employees have complained they were harassed, demoted and even fired for blowing the whistle.

"They just tried to make life as miserable as possible for me, and I just couldn't physically take it anymore." Former Phoenix VA doctor Dr. Sam Foote said.

Foote was the initial whistleblower in the VA scandal. He said he was forced into retirement after sounding off on improper practices.

"If they don't put some people in jail, or fine them or fire them this practice is just going to go on forever," he said.

The former VA employee said he hopes to see more protection for whistleblowers as the investigation continues into the VA scandal.

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About the Author


Cooper Rummell is a Southern California native. He moved to Arizona in 2012 to pursue a bachelor's degree in journalism at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Since May 2013, Cooper has worked as a desk anchor and reporter at KTAR. He has a passion for investigative political reporting and covering the local crime beat.

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