An official at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Monday that Department of Veterans Affairs officials are known to be retaliating against VA whistleblowers by illegally going through their medical records, in an apparent attempt to harass and discredit these whistleblowers.
This surprising testimony from Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner was delivered at a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing, which was called to discuss the problems whistleblowers face when they try to expose the ongoing failure of the VA to provide medical care to veterans.
In Lerner’s prepared testimony, she explained that many VA officials who try to reveal these problems are veterans themselves who are also seeking care at the VA. She said in some cases, VA officials try to retaliate by examining the medical records of these officials, and said this still happens — she called it an “ongoing concern.”
“In several cases, the medical records of whistleblowers have been accessed and information in those records has apparently been used to attempt to discredit the whistleblowers,” she said.
“We will aggressively pursue relief for whistleblowers in these and other cases where the facts and circumstances support corrective action,” she said. (Read more from “Shock Testimony: Va Officials Retaliate Against Whistleblowers by Illegally Accessing Their Medical Records” HERE)
[Editor’s note: this case is reminiscent of the illegal disclosure of Joe Miller’s family’s medical records in the 2010 race against Lisa Murkowski]