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TEMPLE

Local Congressman Asks FBI to Conduct Investigation at VA facility

TEMPLE, TX (KXXV) - A local congressman said he asked the Federal Bureau of Investigations to conduct a review of the Temple Veterans Affairs facility.

U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) said he does not trust the Office of the Inspector General to bring change to the system.

The IG’s office looked into the Temple VA facility three years ago, and made recommendations to fix scheduling and wait time issues. According to Carter, the recommendations "did not solve the underlying issues within the VA."

However, the VA’s uses are in the national spotlight, Carter said it is the FBI’s turn to take a look.

He wants to know if employees at the Temple hospital changed scheduling records to make it look like the clinic met its appointment deadlines.

Carter said if someone’s intended actions, in order to get a bonus, caused a patient’s death, that person must be held accountable.

He said this could end up in civil suit or it could even be a criminal case.

“If that is the case, I think that is serious. I think anything that you are messing [with] the people who went to the war for us and gave everything they could for us, that is about as serious it gets in this country,” said Carter.“Whether [you are] a Republican, Democrat or independent, I think the polls show very clearly everybody is mad about this.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs responded to the news of this newest investigation stating it welcomes any additional review.

“We want to assure veterans and the public that if any evidence of any wrongdoing at our Central Texas VA facility is ever substantiated, swift and corrective action will be taken,” according to a Dept. of Veterans Affairs statement.

The VA said it will provide regular data updates, increase transparency in the department, and provide the most up to date information veterans access to healthcare.

Carter said the FBI never confirms or denies when it is working on an investigation. However, he is confident there will be a check up the Temple VA facility.
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