PHX VA whistleblower may get his job back

Posted at 10:44 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 01:06:15-05

It could be the beginning of the end of a long fought battle for a whistleblower at the Phoenix VA Hospital.

A letter from the U.S. Senate is calling on the head of the VA to put Brandon Coleman back to work.

After Coleman spoke out about the mishandling of suicides in January 2015 he was put on leave and his drug rehab program to help veterans was shut down.

"They were sent scurrying for treatment, they were no longer afforded access to the program they were court ordered to get,” says Coleman, “That's horrifying."

After a year of fighting back, even testifying before congress, the Chairmen of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Judiciary Committee have now sent a four-page letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

In the letter, the senators acknowledge the retaliation against Coleman and the detriment to other veterans.

The letter calls for administrators to be held accountable and asks for a briefing on how the VA is now handling whistleblowers.

“It doesn't mean the current VA administration is gonna listen, but it lets them know they’re being watched and eventually the tide is going to turn," said Coleman.

The VA's Office of Public Affairs says it will respond directly to the senators and provided this information relative to the letter:

Regarding whistleblowers: VA is committed to creating a work environment in which all employees - from front-line staff through lower-level supervisors to senior managers and top VA officials - feel safe sharing what they know, whether good news or bad, for the benefit of veterans, without fear of reprisal.