FBI Launches Investigation into VA

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 11 2014 6:07 PM

VA's Day of Reckoning Comes As FBI Launches Investigation

480878777-director-james-comey-testifies-during-a-hearing-before
FBI Director James Comey

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs, following the release of a damning report last month that charged VA hospitals with excessive—and sometimes life-imperiling—delays. That report ultimately led to the resignation of VA secretary Eric Shinseki.

FBI Director James Comey announced on Wednesday that the investigation would be led by the bureau's office in Phoenix, Arizona, which he described as the "primary locus of original allegations" because at least 35 veterans died while awaiting treatment in the city's VA hospital. 

Advertisement

The Associated Press reports Comey and the Inspector General have their work cut out for them:

The VA, which serves almost 9 million veterans, has been reeling from mounting evidence that workers falsified reports on wait times for medical appointments in an effort to mask frequent, long delays. An internal audit released this week showed that more than 57,000 new applicants for care have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments and an additional 64,000 newly enrolled vets who requested appointments never got them.

While Comey did not provide the details of the investigation, he did reveal to the Judiciary House Committee that the FBI will be teaming up with the Veteran Affairs Inspector General.

The investigation comes as Senate prepares to vote on a legislation that will allow veterans who have experienced delays to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors.

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.