This Disgusting Story from Veterans Affairs is a Symptom of Everything that’s Wrong with Government

VAThe Department of Veterans Affairs has been under scrutiny for the past several years from veterans’ groups, the media, and members of Congress. Now new details are coming to light concerning the status of one of the department’s top officials. DeWayne Hamlin is head of the VA’s Puerto Rico hospital, and he has been absent from the hospital approximately 80 days during a one-year period of his employment.

According to the Washington Examiner:

Hamlin was paid $179,700 despite being absent from the hospital approximately one in three business days last year, according to “delegation of authority” documents by which he temporarily transferred his job responsibilities to deputies.

In April 2014, for example, he was absent from the 10th to the 18th, then from the 24th to the 27th. He also submitted a delegation document saying he would be gone the 28th and 29th. For part of that time, he was traveling to Florida, where he previously lived. He was arrested by Florida police while sitting in his car at 2:00 a.m. on the 26th.

Police said that he smelled of alcohol, twice refused to take a breath test, and that they found oxycodone for which he did not have a prescription. He reportedly refused to say where he got the painkiller.

April 2014 was not atypical of his attendance. Throughout the year, Hamlin took multiple absences, sometimes missing only a day and other times being away for a week. He missed about 100 days in the 14 months ending in June 2014.

Hamlin is a member of the Senior Executive Service, the highest rank for career civil service managers, and previously worked at veterans hospitals in the continental U.S.

Senior executives in Veterans Affairs are rarely disciplined or fired. Since the department has been under a media spotlight, some employees have retired rather than facing disciplinary action. Glann Haggstrom was responsible for VA construction projects for years. Every one of its major construction projects are lagging behind schedule and are millions over budget, according to the Government Accountability Office. Still, VA Leadership allowed Haggstrom to retire with full benefits.

It is against federal law, however, to collect a government paycheck without coming to work. In March, Stephany West, a federal employee in Tampa, Florida, was convicted of theft of government funds for failing to be present at work 50 percent of the time. Her sentence could be as high as ten years in prison.

The Examiner asked VA officials if Hamlin had obtained painkillers from the Puerto Rico facility, if his absences caused problems in management, and why he was being allowed to maintain his position in light of his failure to appear so frequently. Officials with Veterans Affairs did not respond.

The Examiner also inquired as to Hamlin’s allotted vacation, and how many vacation and sick days he had used. The Puerto Rico hospital issued a one sentence statement from a spokesperson for the VA’s Sunshine Healthcare Network, which manages the Caribbean system. The statement said the network had “reviewed this matter in 2014, and found that Mr. Hamlin’s attendance was in conformance with applicable rules and regulations.”

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  • David in MA

    Gives a new meaning to “Salaried Employee”, you think?

  • wsurfs .

    Our brave veteran put our health, well being and safety first…!!! WE SHOULD DO THE SAME FOR THEM….!!!!!!

  • Dannie Poe

    This is a breach of contract and he should be fired. When I read this article I am reminded of our President. Has anyone kept track of the times President Obama was absent from his job? He takes expensive vacations,goes golfing,and goes on many fund raising activities for the Democratic Party as President. Each activity costing millions in taxpayer funds. How is this any different from the article I just read?

  • Tradewinds

    Blame government but government is only a reflection of what America has become.. The failure of government is the failure of the country.. How many times do we have to ask ourselves, Is this the country I was born in??

  • game50

    Blame the Illegal / FRAUD in OUR W.H.,he needs to be Arrested for HIGH TREASON..ALREADY … ENOUGH OF HIS MADNESS.

  • Ralph Long

    Hey Dannie Poe do you want us to count how many times Golfer in Chief Barack Hussein Obama has been out golfing or how many rounds of golf that Obama has played so far as President?

    • Boyd Herrst

      Too many to count !

  • Lawrence J Gubernath

    VA computers can’t even contact each other. They are slow to respond, and will not help or pay your travel pay.

    • Boyd Herrst

      Not true, one of the bean counters recalculated my travel distance and now that construction is over, $6 is shaved from the travel that I get…
      They had put the new mileage in the computer, and when construction was over and the regular route would open. The route didn’t get open for another 6 months… But the VA said that date is what was promised to the Federal government and that is what they are following.

  • James Kroeger

    Typical government ‘white collar’ scumbag! If a ‘blue collar’ worker tried this…they would be terminated on the spot. Fire this idiot, but not before recouping paid time that he was AWOL.

    • Boyd Herrst

      Agreed… I was in Military stationed on west coast at Military hospital. They had a bean counter that was moving around hospital to different depts. That they thought were not managing their employee time properly . How it got started was, is that a civilian employeewas bent monitored because they thought she spent an unusual amount of time in the rest room. She was pregnant and was always leaving to “make water” was her reason and if they are going to monitor her they are going to have to be fair and go yo every dept. And evaluate those
      Depts. Also. The AF IG agreed.
      They also said males had to be monitored for their time in the rest room. Not just civilian, military also. I drink a lot of water. To keep full so when lunch time came I was full and didn’t want to eat. Well, the water got to go somewhere and can’t hold it all day. So a lot of trips. Very short ones. Then back to work.
      Bean counter said I had to be “written up”, I drank all that water to keep myself full so I wouldn’t eat much… It kept me off the “fat boy program” Your time away from work costs the Air Force and your dept. Money.
      The bean counter recommended my re-up be voided and I repay the remainder of my re-up $$$$$.
      The Cmdr. Went off on the bean Ctr. He told that feather merchant bean counter what he could do with his abacus… Thus ended the bean counter’s monitoring In our dept. Our stress levels were up with his waiting outside the restroom with his little stopwatch…. Amen that he would be GONE !

      • James Kroeger

        Yes…we were micro-managed in my 8 years of Air Force and 27 years of Postal Service. It made for a very hostile & stressful working environment. I’m so glad to be retired and have all that crap behind me! I wouldn’t recommend either job to the young troops out of school. It’s funny you mention stopwatch because our Postal supervisors would literally walk around with a clipboard and stopwatch.

    • 2broke4 her

      wrong! I worked in a blue collar setting for DOD at nights and if you was a good boy and the bosses liked you they would carrying you on the books. I took leave and when my Earning statement came in I notice that I wasn’t charged for leave. I told the boss I need to go to payroll because of this and straighten it out. He said don’t worry you are being taken care of. When I became a relief supervisor, people who worked hard and did their job, if they wanted to leave early or take a day off, I did the same thing as a reward. I marked them present and hey got paid for the time. then there was the ones who insisted on being covered and would come up to me and say they are taking off and for me to carry them on the books. I told them no and if they were leaving to let me know and if they want to be covered under annual or sick leave! around 10pm they would leave and not say anything that they were going, so I wrote them up as absent from 10 pm till midnight. they still got paid (annual or sick leave) but they was threatened by upper management with suspension! It seems to me someone in the payroll processing department is covering his butt! he either takes sick leave, annual or a leave of absence.

      • James Kroeger

        Well…you were awful lucky to have such time-book doctoring supervisors, but that’s called fraud and has strict punishment. I know of a Postal supervisor who practiced the same until it caught up with him and he was terminated. I was held accountable for every minute…if you didn’t take annual or sick leave, then you were charged LWOP (leave without pay). If you accumulated too much LWOP it would affect your retirement date and annual leave earnings for the following year. My Air Force days were just as strict…we were held accountable for work hours the same as the Postal Service.

        • 2broke4 her

          while in a relief position, I started reading about the base and U.S.. Air Force Rules and Regulations. I brought to one supervisor attention that he created more divisions in our department so he could get a pay increase by having more work leaders and supervisors below him . an act which is illegal and he can be prosecuted over it. he got pissed off at me and removed 3 divisions. I explained to him, it was called pyramiding and its considered a criminal act. the next thing I knew the managers were removing all the books of rules and regulations. I stepped on someone’s toes and they knew I could create a problem for them!

      • Yuri tahrded

        If it’s justice you’re after, go Congressional on this and see what the weasels do. Looks to me like you were set up .

      • RobertLaity

        You engaged in misconduct and you brag about it?Disgraceful.

        • 2broke4 her

          Not bragging just showing how even blue collars participate the same way. Except I started reading the rules and regs and stopped doing it once I learned its not worth sitting 2 years in Fed Prison to give a reward for being a good worker! I also had worked for the S.P. give O.T. in extra pay. I was threatened with violence if I went to upper management with it! Working nights, had my head lights and tail lights were painted black, that night I hit a person thinking my head lights were working right. another time my someone messed with my brakes. that’s the disgrace, not being able to turn someone in without bodily harm to yourself!

    • Linda Lee

      My husband is ex military , career Civil Service. He’s not however, SES. He’s rank and file federal employee. This guy is one who gives a bad name to federal employees. My husband and I feel that integrity has been cast aside by high ranknig bozos who should not be in their positions. It’s shameful.

      • James Kroeger

        I agree Linda. Where does the VA find such despicable fools like these? Another sign of the times…evil, wicked & corrupt people abound everywhere…especially in our government!

  • WiSe GuY

    Whenever you put a nigger under the hood,
    The entire car is no good.

  • The Fox

    I go to the VA and under Bush they tried to make appointments fast and did take good care of me but, under Obozo it has gone back to 3 month appointments and little care when you are there and needs to be cleaned up just like the White House needs to be cleaned up.

    • cutterguy

      I use va also. the care has been excellent, local admin has been good, but orders from the top, the big o, is restricting to the system. that’s where the problems are.

      • The Fox

        Wouldn’t disagree friend. thanks for your service also. God Bless and Shalom Friend:

  • Gerald

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg!! Get rid of the UNION those greedy MFs and then changes can be made to the system. Why should workers be paid bonuses for barely doing their jobs or not at all?? I’m talking about huge bonuses!! An atmosphere in which no one gets fired?? This whole system lacks accountability!!

    • James Kroeger

      The same can be said about our welfare/food-stamp/housing allowance programs. Able-bodied slackers making as much as I do retired…just to sit at home and mooch. Never work a day in their lives…what a disgrace! Total despicable system to make slaves out of it’s citizens…dependent on the government for handouts! All at the tax payers expense…makes me sick!

      • Gerald

        You are so right James. It makes me so mad that a abled body illegal is making more money than I do and she has never held a job. The pres is giving all these illegals refund tax checks for $3500.00,, they haven’t even worked.

        • James Kroeger

          Despicable!!!

  • Bernie

    They need to be fired. Anybody else would be for just not showing up to work….

  • Karole Conaway

    Are they just following obama’s lead? The government, starting at the very top needs a complete overhaul!

    • Combat Veteran Seabee

      NO! It needs a complete decapitation!

  • Rob Umino

    This kind of behavior MUST CHANGE! Hear that POTUS!

  • Combat Veteran Seabee

    He needs to be fragged!

  • ADRoberts

    A gang of thieves. This should call for an INDEPENDENT IG and a flushing of these corrupt and wicked people.

    • James Kroeger

      Agreed!

  • ABBAsFernando

    Upper management at the VA is the PROBLEM. As s rule they are VILE LIBERAL SCUM who are more like NAZIS than WWII NAZIS. NAZIS are defined as greedy willing to do anything for personal gain. Completely unconcerned with patients caring only for what their management wants. From what I hear many upper management types actually are rewarded bonuses for not helping those needing it.

    VILE LIBERAL SCUM assume they are elite who obey no law. Laws exist to control their enemy, never them.

  • RoseBrownlee

    HIS BOSS(OBAMA) TAUGHT HIM EVER THING HE KNOWS ABOUT NOT BEING AT WORK AND ON VACATION OR A GOLF COURSE USING TAX PAYERS $$$$$. I BELIEVE IF YOUR ON GOVERNMENT PAYROLL OBAMA IS THE BOSS,AM I RIGHT ABOUT THIS.?THE VA COULD CERTAINLY USE SOME GOOD WORKERS

  • Michael Valgos

    This is just how it works at the VA. You have janitorial staff standing around with their thumb in their ass, and the place remains filthy. All of the money is going to the staff, and when it comes time for the veterans the money is all gone. What some kid of a racket. The VA makes organized crime look like school boys.

  • Peter Smith

    Just another minion of the Obama administration that will not be held accountable for their actions. Hard to police an administration when the leader is the biggest crook of all.

  • jlcham

    Take away all his money and benefits and throw the bum in jail along with several others of his cronies who lied for him and covered up his crimes.

  • Yuri tahrded

    Happy-go-lucky inDUHvidual, who is typical of the VA’s Affirmative Action plan to employ deadbeats at a lower rate than any Hospital Administrator in the country. Meanwhile, they collect, delegate and windsurf while Veterans languish.

  • Oingo Boingo

    The VA needs a modern day Attila The Hun as Cabinet Secretary to shape it up.
    It’s been a typical Federal Affirmative Action Hire/Political Hack cesspool refuge for entirely way to long.
    If the “Rs” could unload Boehner and McConnell, forever…
    AND run Trey Gowdy for President…
    we may actually prevent The Klowngress, the “Intelligence” Morlocks, the nation wrecker Zionist jews and The Mulatto Mafia from INTENTIONALLY running The Ship of State onto the rocks.

  • Mo

    Just another example of government waste. Granted, there are some who take their jobs working for the people seriously and do good work and are there all of the time earning their salries. While there are way too many who are there just to draw the paycheck and abuse the system to their advantage. This idiot and the ones who are like him should be purged from the payroll, just imagine how much better the government would be and how much more efficent it would be with people who wanted to do a better job instead of these idiots who just want our money. Fire his sorry A$$ right now and recoup taxpayer funds gotten by his corruption!

  • RobertLaity

    In your email link you say that this guy would be a “sorry excuse for a Janitor”. In the first place, Janitors aren’t employed at the VA. The highly trained people who keep the hospital environment clean and guard against disease outbreaks are called Housekeeping Aides. I was one of those for 26 years. Of note is that I was also a whistleblower. Along with another Housekeeper, we have been trying to bring accountability to the VA for the last 33 years or so.
    The VA has many problems but it is not totally without merit. A large majority of the rank and file workers truly want to improve the care our nations veterans receive.

  • Rboo

    Many, many years ago my Uncle was the Head of the Veterans Administration here locally. He was a Vietnam Vet and wanted to help fellow service men, I’m not sure how many years he worked there as I was much younger. I do know that he quit because he became so fed up with bureaucracy. I always felt so bad for him and the men he tried to help and never understood why he couldn’t get what he needed to help them. Of course then I grew up and learned all about our government. It disgusts me that anyone rather it be the government or someone working at VA would not do everything possible to get every kind of healthcare or whatever it might be one of our Vet’s may need. I come from a military family and even if I didn’t, I would feel the same way. God Bless our Vets and our Soldiers!