Merit Systems Protection Board forces VA to rehire Hawkins

| August 9, 2017 | 61 Comments

BNG sends us a link to Stars & Stripes which reports that the Merit Systems Protection Board has forced the Veterans’ Affairs Department to rehire Brian Hawkins, the disgraced former director of the VA’s DC hospital system that the VA just fired last month.

Hawkins appealed that he was wrongfully terminated, and MSPB is requiring the VA to keep him as an employee until the Office of Special Counsel reviews his claim.

The VA said Hawkins is back on the payroll, but at Washington headquarters rather than in a position with access to patients.

“No judge who has never run a hospital and never cared for our nation’s Veterans will force me to put an employee back in a position when he allowed the facility to pose potential safety risks to our veterans,” VA Secretary David Shulkin said in a written statement. “Protecting our veterans is my most important responsibility.”

Someone needs to shut down the MSPB.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (61)

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  1. HMC Ret says:

    This is my surprised face. Look for never-ending number of lawsuits in the future from this waste of space.

  2. Texas Nomad says:

    As usual, the only winners are the lawyers.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    That sounds like the kind of judge who would order that a NeoNazi be hired at a Synagogue.

  4. 1610desig says:

    Not over yet…maybe the Office of Special Councel will right this wrong…you just have to assume the VA director did his homework and heavily consulted HR and the lawyers before firing this high profile EO poster boy…if not, then maybe he’s incompetent, but I don’t think so

  5. Sapper3307 says:

    I think he can kill off two more vets before he gets fired.

  6. ChipNASA says:

    Someone called it last thread.

    Green Thumb says:
    April 13, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Old Dirtbag Hawkins here will be moved to another position and probably promoted.

    The VA is worse than the Catholic Church in punishing malfeasance.

    To hell with this guy. And I can only imagine why he was hired in the first place…..

    I wonder if Walt and the boys at VA General Counsel will be defending this assclown if it was proven he caused harm? Probably. They have a tendency to stick up for shitbags (themselves included).

    At least the dude that replaced him seems squared away.

    Man, oh, man.

  7. SFC D says:

    Give the fuckstick a trash bag, he can police the hospital grounds 8 hours a day while his appeal processes.

  8. The Stranger says:

    I wish the following would happen in this case….
    Put him at headquarters while his appeal goes through and yes, even pay him his salary. BUT! Make him clean toilets, empty trash bags, scrub pots and pans in the cafeteria. In other words, make him do every shit job that comes along.

  9. Skippy says:

    The the VA Accountability act was all smoke and mirrors
    Seriously WTF is wrong with our country

  10. Graybeard says:

    Makes a preacher want to cuss.

  11. IDC SARC says:


  12. MSG Eric says:

    Many of us said this would happen on the original thread.

    We can only hope they don’t override the firing, but the likelihood is that until the MPSB is reigned in and fixed/fired, this kind of bullshit will keep happening. They will keep finding other examples of shitbaggery to use as an excuse to re-hire shitbags. Just like they did with the others who abused the system for themselves.

    If Trump fired the MPSB, who would they go to for an appeal?

  13. C2Show says:

    Awfully quick of the MPSB…usually it takes years to return results. Most people I know have waited 3 years while fighting the MPSB of dismissals.

    He must have greased some pockets up there.

    Then again, nothing suprises me with the VA, which is why I left in one year.

  14. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Swamp. Draining.

    And remind me why so many people resist the idea?

  15. RM3(SS) says:

    My time in the fed system at DHS I saw a lot of hard working dedicated people. We also had a few absolutely worthless leeches. Because of their “protected status” and managements unwillingness to take hard action, they flaunted their uselessness. One had been given a job that would take 2 hours a day to do, but she usually couldn’t finish it so they gave her an assistant, and between them they could sometimes finish in a day. Both never had more than 10 hours sick leave on the books. Both filed constant EEO and other complaints against everyone.
    I agree, MPSB needs to go.

  16. jdm says:

    If Obama had a son! I think Obamas daddy was Marion Barry. Go on a take the coke and run!!

  17. Green Thumb says:

    Office of Special Counsel


    Just as Jeff Stacey.

    VA Attorneys = Shitbags.

    • Green Thumb says:

      An the irony is that a lot of the folks are fucking Reservists.

      They have a familiarity with the DoD/military system, work for the VA and then double dip.

      Its not so much that they double dip that is my concern. Its that a lot of them screw decent Vets on legitimate claims (in place of an MD, no less). Its their job. but yet they will state their rank for a few beers.

      Some Vets are turds and they weed them out. I get that and support that part. But these aforementioned clowns work for the VA and they are tasked with minimizing litigation and excess claims at a certain level.

      That is unethical and hypocritical being that they serve in that position.

      A few are decent folks. But many are shitbags that are nothing but Law School Soft Shoes who wear the uniform for attention and a few drinks and then screw folks that wore the uniform to help people.

      Fuck VA General and Regional Counsel(s). Turds. Just ask J. Thomas Burch what he skimmed off the top. And “Turd” Stacey is about to take the job. Or so I hear.

      Just ask Jeff Stacey (Regional Counsel) at VISN 19 what he thinks.

      Give him a call and ask him. (303) 914-5810

      • IDC SARC says:

        Can they still double dip? They ended that for us GS employees.

        • IDC SARC says:

          As a federal employee that is a military retiree if you want to retire from federal service you have to “buy into it” and stop getting your retirement.

          I did not opt to do so.

          • Green Thumb says:

            Reservists have a very different set of rules.

            Not right or wrong. Just different.

            Also, there is a HUGE ethical component to this argument.

            • IDC SARC says:


              I know little about reservists, though I instruct them as well as active duty types, I don’t have anything to do with their administrative matters.

          • Hondo says:

            Might want to discuss this with your personnel office, IDC SARC. “Double-dipping” is still allowed for Federal civilians, but the rules under FERS are somewhat complex.

            To combine the service credit time and receive a civilian pension based on that combined service credit time, the military pension must be waived – plus a deposit and interest must be paid. Under the former Federal civilian retirement system (CSRS), based on military and civilian grades that could make financial sense. (I knew a guy who did that about 20 years ago; he’d done the math and figured out he’d get his deposit back within 3 years – and would be WAY ahead economically afterwards.) Unfortunately, doing that almost never makes economic sense under FERS.

            However: if someone retires after 20+ years on active duty in the military, THEN serves enough time as a Federal civilian to qualify for retirement under one of the alternate age and service criteria (Age 60 w/20 years credible civilian service, Age 65 w/5 years credible civilian service, or Minimum Retirement Age w/10 years credible civilian), they can indeed receive both pensions. Unfortunately, for all of those cases except 60/20 there’s a reduction in the annuity if the individual is less than age 62 on retirement.

            See the following URL for details:


            Hypothetical example: someone joins the military at age 18 and serves until age 39 (21 yrs). They retire, and get hired into a Federal civilian job a year later (age 40). When they have 20 years of civilian service, they can retire with no annuity reduction (60/20) and receive both checks. OR they could retire at their MRA (minimum retirement age; varies by year of birth) and receive a reduced annuity (less credible service plus a reduction based on how many years they were “short” of 62). (In this example, 65/5 doesn’t come into play.)

        • MSG Eric says:

          GS can only “double-dip” for 120 hours a year getting paid for military duty and GS duty at the same time. As far as I understand, that hasn’t changed. But even if they go over that, they just get a “no pay/excused” status for any days they are doing military duty as long as it is approved. If they are military technicians, then it is definitely approved because they are doing military duty with the same unit (usually) AND most get better pay as reservists than they do as GS.

        • just some feller says:

          As a military retiree and soon-to-be civil service retiree … yes, you can “double-dip.”

          If you paid SS throughout your military service (I think we all did … at least since 1972), and you are a FERS civil servant (ergo, have paid-in to SS), you will receive both pensions without an off-set.

          If you were CSRS and want SS, you would have to pay back in to the social security system.

          If I recall, there are these following types of federal retirees:
          * CSRS
          * CSRS/FERS
          * FERS

          I’ve been to about 5 retirement briefings and this subject always comes up.

          Military pension…..Heck yah!
          Federal pension…..Heck yah!
          TSP…..Heck yah!
          SS…..Heck yah!

          Life ain’t gonna be so bad, fellers; I’ll still be able to afford my cafe latte.



          • Hondo says:

            If you paid SS throughout your military service (I think we all did … at least since 1972) . . . .

            For active duty, that began in 1957. For drilling reservists, that began in 1988.


            Additionally, personnel who served on active duty between 1940 and 1956 (inclusive) did not pay Social Security taxes, but were retroactively granted “deemed” Social Security credit for military service during that period.

        • C2Show says:

          You can still double dip…

          I did it few years back. And few people still do it now.

  18. AZtoVA says:

    Of course, we all knew this would happen. Status quo when you have a union hell-bent on protecting the worst of the employees.

  19. Cummins says:

    The National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.”
    Their stated reason for the policy is because, “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

  20. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    Unions protect bad/problem employees to the detriment of everyone else. Before anybody starts attacking me, I was a union rep, I had to defend dirt bags who should have been fired (and I wasn’t shy about telling them so). My thought is the VA should think about something in the custodial arts for him while his case works out. I’m sure the VA have a custodial position open in some podunk clinic in Alaska, not a lot of harm he could do mopping floors.

    • Graybeard says:

      I’ve never had a high view of labor unions.

      There has been one or two places I would not have worked without a union, but I solved that by working somewhere else.

      God bless Texas! (And all right-to-work states.)

  21. cato says:

    Incompetence, mismanagement, corruption and placing veterans in peril are not actionable reasons for termination in Government. Pass GO and collect $200,000 and get your job back.

  22. Berliner says:

    He should be given a position where he closely monitors and evaluates adult diaper effectiveness.

  23. Skyjumper says:

    I heard that there might be a position opening up soon that the VA could assign Mr. Hawkins to for a personal hand maiden for a certain bona-fide Navy SEAL veteran, former disbarred attorney who is to be shortly incarcerated.

    Duties are to include: catheter insertion, removal and cleaning of; mopping up of secretions/drolling/frothing of and around the mouth area; changing of man-pads & diapers; interpreter of incoherent speech patterns; combing of hair; other assorted duties as the situations arise.

    10 days and a wake up! 🙂

    • IDC SARC says:

      Oh, no this guy should not be allowed invasive procedures. Inpatients can develop sepsis from improper catheter insertions.

      In that realm though, I would suggest he be used as a training aid for nurses to complete and sustain proficiency in such procedures.

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