In the wake of serious mismanagement allegations and an investigation by the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, CBS 5 News has confirmed that Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman has been receiving death threats.
Phoenix VA spokesman Scott McRoberts would not confirm the volume of threats or how they have been received by phone, email or other mode.
McRoberts issued this written statement:
Phoenix VA Health Care System wants Veterans in the Phoenix community to know that they have our deepest empathy and concern. Phoenix VA Health Care System is cooperating with the Office of Inspector General and local law enforcement to facilitate safety concerns of Veterans and staff.
Several sources tell CBS 5 News that there has been a large presence of VA police on the administration floor of the VA where Helman has her office. We've also learned that VA police escorted Helman to an off-site meeting on Tuesday. Having a police escort is not common practice for Helman.
Helman and her leadership team have come under pressure in recent weeks after allegations that as many as 45 patients may have died as a result of delayed and inadequate care. The allegations include accusations of a cover-up by Helman and her top aides by keeping secret wait lists in an effort to hide the delays in care.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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