Fitton: The Continuing Scandal at the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Office

| February 15, 2019

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I tend to stay out of the continuing saga of the VA, as I don’t use the services offered. No dog of mine in that fight, but I try to stay abreast of the ups and downs experienced by my fellow TAHers, sympathize with the poor service rendered and hope for better conditions. Then this link was e-mailed to me by a friend.

By: Tom Fitton
Veterans Affairs officials in Los Angeles are blatantly ignoring the needs of veterans and appear to be running some kind of business out of their offices. Despite Judicial Watch’s lawsuits, the outrages continue, as their Corruption Chronicles blog reports.

The Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) facility that illegally rents its sprawling grounds to institutions that don’t serve veterans just evicted several groups dedicated to veterans, including a nonprofit that for decades has comforted dying vets and another that helps those who are disabled. While the VA gave the volunteer organizations the boot without offering an explanation, it continues housing a parking lot for nearby upscale shops, a university baseball stadium, a dog park for the professional dog walkers of affluent residents, and athletic fields for a fancy prep school.

It marks the latest of several scandals involving the misuse of this VA property, where a top official pleaded guilty to multiple felonies last year for taking bribes from a parking lot operator that defrauded the agency out of millions. This month at least five established nonprofits dedicated to providing veterans with therapeutic activities, counseling and other valuable survival skills have been evicted while private businesses that don’t benefit vets remain

The Jewish War Veterans is among the organizations that just got kicked out along with Twilight Brigade, the Disabled American Veterans, Vet-to-Vet and the Association for Parrot C.A.R.E., which provides therapeutic activities for vets at its parrot sanctuary. A local newspaper reported the latest travesty at the southern California VA this week, but Judicial Watch has for years investigated, sued and obtained government documents involving the VA’s illegal use of this parcel..

If ever there was an example of a corruptocracy needed, one needn’t look further than VA in Los Angles. Which upon reflection, isn’t really all that surprising, considering the location. And since Government workers are involved it’s nearly impossible to take administrative action against those responsible. Legal action seems to be the only way cull the herd.

The rest of this travesty may be viewed here: LA’s VA

Category: Politics

Comments (38)

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  1. AnotherPat says:

    Testing…Testing..Testing…

    underline

  2. HMC Ret says:

    The bounced the DAV? I don’t believe they thought that move through very well. I’m thinking the DAV has enough power to bring a real shitstorm down on their asses. Nothing the VA does would surprise me. I saw it firsthand for over a decade.

  3. SFC D says:

    Where does the money trail lead?

    • Ret_25X says:

      There are so many corruptocrats to choose from…

      Surely this would not lead to moonbeam, newsome, feinstein, waters, etc?

      Naw…never been any corruption there….

  4. NHSparky says:

    Shit like this has been going on there for decades.

    One more reason I never availed myself to their services when I got out. Santa Monica is too much of a PITA to deal with as it is.

  5. Mason says:

    Studies have shown that we only catch 10% of drunk drivers. I’d wager we catch that or less of the fraud, waste, and abuse of government resources.

  6. Gravel says:

    For those that don’t know, I am 100% service connected disabled (a quadriplegic), and I have been using the VA for several years now. I’ve had both horrible and fantastic experiences at VA Hospitals all over the country.

    One of the finest neurologists that I’ve ever been treated by was at the Washington D.C. VA Hospital. However, that particular hospital was a shit hole and was falling apart at the seams, and it had a lot of nasty, disgruntled assholes on their staff (not referring to any of the medical staff, just admin people). Overall the medical staff was always pretty good.

    Currently I live in southern Ohio and I go to the Chillicothe, Ohio, VA Hospital. It is, hands down, the absolute best VA Hospital that I’ve ever been treated at. From admin, to medical, to wait times, to the actual campus itself. There are just to many names to name for an “atta-boy.” I have never had a bad experience there. In particular are the head of Prosthetics and one of his staff members. From wheelchair batteries and tires, to making sure my new home had brand new aluminum ramps installed, to ordering/installing a new wheelchair lift for my vehicle, they’ve done it all. Quickly and efficiently, and always with a smile and a wave and a cheerful voice. And I have yet to find any staff member that won’t take a moment or two out of their busy schedule to give directions in the hallway, or even just give you a word of encouragement.

    I swear, if the VA Hospital system ever set up a training program as to how it should be done, it should be taught by the staff at the Chillicothe VA Hospital.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Gravel I’m glad that you finally got the quality of care and attention to your needs that you should have been getting from day one. Every Veteran should be getting the same level of care no matter where they are.

      The scum that have been riding the system, cheating the system, and ripping off the taxpayers should have a visit from Bubba, Julio, Thor, and Mr. Tiny. And that is after their ill gotten gains have been stripped from them. The punishment should swift, sure, long lasting, and leave a mark.

    • AnotherPat says:

      Gravel,

      5th/77th FA nailed it when he wrote:

      “I’m glad that you finally got the quality of care and attention to your needs that you should have been getting from day one. Every Veteran should be getting the same level of care no matter where they are.”

      Thank you for recognizing the Chillicothe VA Hospital. It is a blessing to read the folks there are kind and professional and that you happy with their service.

    • Thunderstixx says:

      The Milwaukee VA worked their asses off saving my life three times.
      The first one was in 2005 for diverticulitis with a ruptured intestine with peritonitis both pre and post op.
      I was in and out of the hospital for three and a half years and I learned what a pain level of 8 was.
      My Surgical Resident, Dr Whitehouse, sat with me for about 36 hours and took me all over the hospital for various tests and examinations.
      I was in the ICU at the time and had she not stayed with me, it’s doubtful that I would have survived.
      Then, in 2010, my surgery in 2005 triggered Sinus Tachycardia and I ended up with heart failure. I was put on a heart transplant list and was given 6 months to live…
      I’m still waiting for my six months to be up.
      I had an E/F of 15 at that time, thanks to lots of prayer, great medical care and lots of medication, it is back to about 50-55.
      I really have only had a couple of bad experiences with the VA and I am grateful for all of the ones that toil quietly and ask for very little.
      Those are some of the real heroes that care about us every day.
      The thing of the VA to me is that when you walk onto a VA clinic, everybody that is there for treatment has worked for the right to be there…
      We all did our 180 days, got Honorable Discharges and generally did our jobs as they were assigned to us.
      I’ve had a few instances with some of the people at the VA, but the overall quality of their care has been good and solid.
      After all, I’m still alive. Had it been private or Medical Assistance, I would not have made it this far…
      For those with bad experiences, I am sorry that you had to deal with it.
      And Gravel, I am also very happy that you got the high level of care that you deserve. You earned it…

    • Green Thumb says:

      Stay strong, brother.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    I like dogs. Prefer them to most people.
    The dog thing with vets is way out of hand.
    Dog business is booming because every vet needs a therapy dog.
    And they are all non-profit of course.

    From what I’ve seen here, a lot of this stuff
    is mixed in that sundae we often refer to.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I have cats. The only therapy they provide is acknowledging my existence by whining when I’m late with their meals.

      • SFC D says:

        I have a dog. Sammy the wonderdog. I am his service/therapy animal.

        • Jarhead says:

          On the rear bumper of my truck reads a sticker that says, “The more people I meet, the more I like my dog”. On with the show. Right now the VA is in the midst of a damned mess of greedy bastards who are looking out for themselves ONLY. Even our Congressional representative has tried to raise hell with the head brass, but they pay the person nothing but lip service, and the person knows it. For what I have been told, it is the responsibility of even small VA medical facilities to have an M. D. on hand at each location. What the head main players do to offset that law is make it APPEAR as if they were trying to get a doctor on staff, meanwhile filling the slot with a much cheaper paid Nurse Practitioner; around five years short of an M. D. level of education. Then they claim they are “trying” but for some odd reason doctors do not remain working for the VA VERY LONG. Yes, I know this is NOT the case in all V A facilities, but damned sure representative of the Dothan, Al VA clinic. Having gone nearly two months short on one of my meds, I finally called the right line and raised hell. Meanwhile, what do I learn from an honorable V A employee that has a greater than average position, but this shocker. One M. D. in this area is responsible for 5,500 veterans and their med refills. WTF? How do they ever pull this off? On a recent trip to the same facility I met three different veterans in the same office who were there for the third or fourth time desperately seeking to get their blood pressure medicine refilled. Theirs was a hell of a lot more of an emergency than what I was raising hell about.

          Now here’s the kicker. If ANY veteran is EVER mistreated or ignored, here is what you do…Call the White House Veteran’s Complaint Line at (855) 948-2311. These people are SERIOUS and will personally contact the VA facility you are having a problem with and ring their bell. Call that number with a legitimate complaint and I personally GUARANTEE you that they will have the facility of your complaint calling you back within 48 hours at the most. The VA facility in question will be contacted by this group, and every inquiry by them puts a black mark on the facility and its operation.

          We all must do what is needed to put a stop to this bullshit, even if it means taking the time to help another veteran in need and out of choices. These people are genuine problem solvers and get more done in less time than any politician ever considered. Good luck to all who need and use this service. It’s our responsibility to see that other vets are treated like humans. You CAN and SHOULD make the difference by carrying this phone number with you and use as needed.

          • Thunderstixx says:

            WOW !!!!
            Thank you very much for that information !!!
            I love this place !!!

            • Jarhead says:

              Tstix….when the time comes and you use this special help line, please let us all know how it worked out for you. there are so MANY who need to know about these wonderful folks. The more who know about it and make use of it, the more who can share it with other vets. We are obligated to pass it on. If you comment about successful use, leave my name out of it….just as I did with regards to he who passed it on to me. Good luck Brother.

          • Ret_25X says:

            Jarhead, I copy:

            Now here’s the kicker. If ANY veteran is EVER mistreated or ignored, here is what you do…Call the White House Veteran’s Complaint Line at (855) 948-2311. These people are SERIOUS and will personally contact the VA facility you are having a problem with and ring their bell. Call that number with a legitimate complaint and I personally GUARANTEE you that they will have the facility of your complaint calling you back within 48 hours at the most. The VA facility in question will be contacted by this group, and every inquiry by them puts a black mark on the facility and its operation.

            All stations this net: pass the message.

            I wish they would put me in that office with the power to fire…

  8. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Will they ever be able to even scratch the surface at getting rid of corruption in the VA?

    • Hate_me says:

      Temporary stand-down – shut down all administrative functions except essential functions needed to preserve life/limb/eyesight (and leave the medical specialists alone – except those with a history of neglect/abuse/fraud). Only hire or allow back veterans or those who have proven their commitment to service members (i.e. volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels or have outstanding recommendations from their patients) to work in the administration of the system.

      I realize it’s not that simple, and I’m no expert, but from my own experience and the limited number of others’ accounts that I’ve read, these issues generally come from the civilian sorts who couldn’t find a better job (or the “veterans” who only graduated Basic on their résumé). Real vets, and those who have already gone out of their way to support vets, tend to honor their own. It’s a system to take care of veterans, why not run it by veterans (and their auxiliary)? Perhaps there could even be some transition program between DOD and DVA?

      “Retiring as a flag officer? There’s a hospital in X location and the dean (or CEO or whomever runs the admin – again, no expert) is retiring in six months, are you interested in carrying that guidon for a while?”

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Call it a “command” and some folks would fight deathmatches with chainsaws for the opportunity.

        Give them the authority to flog corrupt folks, and we won’t have enough chainsaws to go around.

        On a more serious note, there should be -harsh- penalties for even simple corruption of a government position. Prison, impoverishment, and Public humiliation, even the Lash, might make a dent. Make this particular crime very much not pay.

        For the infection spreads, and ruins the Republic.

        • Hate_me says:

          I would, very much, like to see the equivalent of a Oise-Aisne Plot E for those folk. They are the cancer in the system.

        • Ret_25X says:

          public corruption should be treated as seriously as treason…no…it should be treason.

          Death by pressurization tank…put them in, pressurize as if a deep sea dive, then restore to sea level as quickly as the valve will allow. Sit back, film result.

          For those in “admin” positions in the government who steal by work slow down, inattention, or negligence, we should have a work camp. 18 hours a day at hard labor. One day in camp for every hour on the job. They can build the wall.

          • HMC Ret says:

            Do away with the union. At my VA, most of the support (clerical) staff are veterans and many are retired. My own clerk is a slug and retiree. The union’s primary purpose is to protect the no loads. In 11 years working for the VA, I know of fewer than five employees who were ever reprimanded for their shitty attitude. Even then, those employees received their annual bonus. Short of committing a felony, their job is secure.

  9. AnotherPat says:

    To give perspective on the article Ed posted:

    Here is an interesting investigation news article on Richard Scott, owner of the parking lot, as well as Ralph Tillman, the VA Contract Officer who took bribes from Scott:

    “EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE A $13 MILLION FRAUD AND BRIBERY SCHEME AT THE VA”:

    https://abc7.com/fraud-scheme-cost-socal-va-$13-million/4345157/

    Richard Scott’s cars were auctioned:

    “This Ferrari F40, Forfeited in a Fraud Scheme, Sold for $760,000 at a US Marshal’s Service Auction”:

    https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/california/Car-Auction-Ferrari-F40-Seized-Automobiles-US-Marshals-Investigation-Parking-Lot-VA-Scheme-505367551.html

    The Love of Money Is The Root of All Evil. Greedy Little Ducks. All of Them.

  10. AW1Ed says:

    The comments track pretty well with what I’ve been reading here for several years- the medical side of the VA is (usually) made up of caring professionals who work the occasional miracle, and the Admin part is (again, usually) peopled with sloths nursing from the government’s teat.
    I suppose with the VA it’s location,location, location.

    • Ret_25X says:

      the fish rots from the head.

      Bad management hires bad employees.

      Bad employees create a toxic location.

  11. CAPT Bones says:

    I’ll speak for thousands of now practicing physicians who had the opportunity to train as medical students or intern/residents at any VA Hospital. When I look back at medical school my fondest memories are at the VA in Oklahoma City. The vets liked us, learned our names, and frequently slipped us their AM cinnamon rolls when they had seen us up all night and now sagging on morning rounds. If they weren’t in their bed, they were 99% found smoking with others in the large communal heads. One “frequent flyer” crusty USMC vet told me once “You know the chief cause of bowel obstruction in the VA doc ?” ..”It’s the ‘vet-burgers!..followed by a loud guffaw. I attended to my 40th reunion last year and deeply enjoyed strolling the halls again. To all of them I say “Thanks for educating us all”

    • IDC SARC says:

      The VA is THE organization that trains more medical personnel than any other organization.

      Most physicians rotate in a VA facility at some point. I even rotated through VA facilites as an IDC student.

  12. AW1Ed says:

    Bones, SARC, was waiting for y’all to chime in. I thought I had misplaced the post- even checked under the desk in case it slipped back there.

    Thanks for your inputs. Just re-enforces the conclusions I had reached by living vicariously through the VA users here.

  13. LCpl Rhodes says:

    The VA is a shithole institution. I’d sooner die than receive any treatment from there. One Trump/Republican Administration policy I absolutely support is the contracting out of the VA. The sooner that happens, the sooner they start cutting everything to save costs, and then the organization just fucking implodes and goes away. I’d love to see the VA destroyed in my lifetime. It’s the biggest fucking waste of government money ever.

    You want my solution to fixing the VA? Step one: only personnel who’ve deployed and served out their full term of service are entitled to care. Adios, 90% of the shitbags that go there.