We are dumbstruck that a government agency thinks it is above our Constitution and has rules forbidding employees to speak to their representatives in Congress, because that is who Brian Smothers informed — U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
The right to petition Congress is right there beside Number One in the Constitution, perhaps the soon-to-be former Secretary of the VA should check that out.
VA officials had no immediate comment on Smothers’ claim that he was punished for speaking up but said the agency does not tolerate retaliation. They said previously they take any allegation about unauthorized wait lists seriously and were cooperating with an inquiry.
It appears that what the VA meant to say, is that they do not tolerate retaliation against the agency by an employee blowing the whistle on wrongdoing.
We expect that the ongoing investigation into the waitlisting practice that resulted in the death of a Colorado man will now be expanded to include the retaliation against the whistleblower.
Smothers says it is his hope that the incoming Trump administration will fire those responsible. We expect that will be the case.