[Ed. – Emphasis added.]
Congressional staffers investigating data falsification and whistleblower retaliation at the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in Philadelphia were given a workspace there that was wired with activated audio microphones and video cameras, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs said Monday.
Committee investigators also glimpsed a notebook used by the agency’s regional director that bore written instructions to ignore their requests for information, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said during a late-night hearing.
Miller, chairman of the veterans committee, said he is “shocked” by the directives from VA officials to ignore congressional investigators.
“You will not ignore this committee anymore,” Miller said to Allison Hickey, VA’s under secretary for benefits, who testified at the hearing.
Miller sent two committee staff members to the Philadelphia facility July 2 to determine whether claims-processing data was being falsified to hide long delays and errors that could cost veterans the benefits they deserve because of illnesses or injuries linked to military service.
Before the meeting began, one of Miller’s staffers, Lauren Rogan, went to the bathroom, where she saw a notebook by the sink that included the phrase “ignore Rory,” a reference to her colleague Rory Riley.