VA employees are crying foul on national leadership after they say a so-called "hit-list" has surfaced. One of those names is a Phoenix VA whistleblower who is coming forward, showing her face and using her name in defense.
There are more than two dozen names that appear in an email from the Director of Client Relations in Washington. For VA employee privacy purposes, we have chosen to black the names out, but one employee says the list is proof the VA at the national level is going against policy and harassing employees that just want the truth to be told.
"I feel that I should have never been put on a list. This is what got them into trouble in the first place; a list. Did they not learn anything from the past?" asked VA occupational therapist Stephanie Nearing. She came forward Wednesday with yet another concern. "I am angry, I am hurt and I am dismayed," she said.
This comes three weeks after she anonymously came forward to the media discuss harassment and physical harm concerns inside the Phoenix VA Healthcare System. Days later she, along with 29 other employees nationwide appeared on a group email from the Director of Client Relations in Washington. The email read, in part, "we want to ensure whistleblowers' concerns get immediate attention..." But Nearing and others replied, requesting to be removed from the email group, calling it "harassment" and "retaliation."
"If you read their Whistleblower Act, there should have never been a list. That goes against their policy," said Nearing.
The VA Office of Public Affairs in Washington did not respond to our email inquiry about the list, Public Affairs in Phoenix says they're investigating Nearing's recent claims and that supervisors in question must get due process.