Walz sent a letter yesterday to the Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General and the Office of Special Counsel regarding the allegations, which were detailed in a KARE 11 story that ran yesterday. In the story, the two employees interviewed said they were told to falsify medical records by writing that a patient had declined follow-up treatments even though the veteran had never been contacted. Those actions could have put some veterans' lives in danger because they involved suspected colon cancer cases, according to the employees. Both of the women interviewed for the story said they were fired after trying to alert VA administrators to the problems.
In a letter sent to VA Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin, Walz cited the KARE 11 story and said "If these allegations prove true, I was not given the full story form VA officials during my visit to the facilities and during numerous interactions since." Walz said he wants verification that these allegations are being investigated. He said he also plans to follow up with the Office of Special Counsel to ask that the two whistleblowers' claims that they were retaliated against by the VA be investigated.
In a statement, Walz called the allegations "extremely troubling" and "run counter to what local leadership at the VA told me." The Mankato Democrat, who serves on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, had requested more information about why the Minneapolis and Rochester VA facilities were flagged for further review in a VA Access Audit released in June. Few details have been released by these facilities were flagged. In July, a report shared with Congress about the audit said that staff at the Rochester VA Clinic felt pressured to falsify appointment data.
Click here to Download Walz's VA letter