Former VA Hospital spokeswoman speaks out about scandal

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by Javier Soto

Bio | Email | Follow: @JavierSotoTV

azfamily.com

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 4:39 PM

PHOENIX -- She has been the face and voice of the Phoenix VA Hospital for more than two decades but Paula Pedene is now speaking out about the mismanagement within the hospital.

"It's absolutely true! Absolutely!" Pedene said on "Good Morning Arizona" Monday.

She was not surprised when the Inspector General found all the wrongdoing within the hospital last week. That interim report revealed veterans waited 115 days before first seeing a doctor and upwards of 1,700 vets were lost in the system.

However the "harassment" found is something that hits close to home for Pedene who was removed from her spokeswoman post last year for an alleged security breach.

"They found out I was talking to [whistleblower] Dr. Samuel Foote and they started to nitpick," she said.

Pedene is legally blind but was reassigned after the hospital found out she allowed her husband to post pictures to the VA website after she logged in.

"They sent the information to the National Security Operations in Washington, D.C., but it immediately came back no breach," she explained, "Despite that, they still removed me."

The former spokeswoman claims she is now fighting for the other employees who have been "bullied" and don't have a voice. Although her situation is in litigation, her hope is the hospital can heal and start getting the vets the proper care they deserve.

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