VA Secretary fires former director of Washington DC's VA Hospital — again

The U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin fired Brian Hawkins, the medical director of Washington D.C.VA Medical Center, again Wednesday, according to the Federal News Radio.

Mr. Hawkins was removed from his administrative duties in April following a report that uncovered filthy conditions, supply shortages and missing equipment at the hospital. In July, the VA first fired Mr. Hawkins after discovering he sent private information to personal email accounts. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs was forced to rehire the ousted Mr. Hawkins in August after he filed a wrongful termination appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board, which halted his termination.

On Wednesday, Mr. Shulkin used the new accountability law to permanently fire Mr. Hawkins. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, signed into law June 23, makes it easier for VA officials to fire employees for wrongdoings, according to Stars and Stripes.

"We at VA will use the authorities available to ensure our veterans get the highest quality service and care possible," Mr. Shulkin said in a news statement. "This is the right decision for Veterans in D.C., and employees at the medical center, and underscores our commitment to hold employees accountable if they fail to do their jobs or live up to VA's values." 

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