VA Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki resigns - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns

Veterans Affairs Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki speaks Friday in Washington, DC, at a meeting on homeless veterans. (Source: CNN) Veterans Affairs Secretary Gen. Eric Shinseki speaks Friday in Washington, DC, at a meeting on homeless veterans. (Source: CNN)
  • National politicsNational politicsMore>>

  • After mass shootings, NRA pins blame on familiar list

    After mass shootings, NRA pins blame on familiar list

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 7:02 PM EDT2018-05-23 23:02:59 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:05 AM EDT2018-05-24 08:05:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File). FILE - In this May 4, 2018, file photo, attendees walk by a display of AR-15's and AR-10's at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas. Gun-control advocates push for tougher laws, including universal background...(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File). FILE - In this May 4, 2018, file photo, attendees walk by a display of AR-15's and AR-10's at the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas. Gun-control advocates push for tougher laws, including universal background...
    From the design of school buildings to video games, here's what the gun lobby says leads to school shootings.More >>
    From the design of school buildings to video games, here's what the gun lobby says leads to school shootings.More >>
  • Senate primary splits Arizona conservatives between 2 icons

    Senate primary splits Arizona conservatives between 2 icons

    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:02 AM EDT2018-05-24 07:02:25 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:05 AM EDT2018-05-24 08:05:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin). In this May 17, 2018, photo, Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward talks about her platform policies at a Scottsdale Tea Party event in Scottsdale, Ariz. Arizona conservatives are torn between two icons of their movement -...(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin). In this May 17, 2018, photo, Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward talks about her platform policies at a Scottsdale Tea Party event in Scottsdale, Ariz. Arizona conservatives are torn between two icons of their movement -...
    Arizona conservatives are torn between two icons of their movement - former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state senator Kelli Ward - in the GOP Senate primary.More >>
    Arizona conservatives are torn between two icons of their movement - former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state senator Kelli Ward - in the GOP Senate primary.More >>
  • Teachers show strength in Kentucky primary elections

    Teachers show strength in Kentucky primary elections

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:07 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:07:36 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 4:05 AM EDT2018-05-24 08:05:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Wade Payne). In this photo taken Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Mt. Vernon, Ky., Travis Brenda, a teacher at Rockcastle County High School, speaks during an interview. Brenda, a Republican running for the state House of Representatives, is challen...(AP Photo/Wade Payne). In this photo taken Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Mt. Vernon, Ky., Travis Brenda, a teacher at Rockcastle County High School, speaks during an interview. Brenda, a Republican running for the state House of Representatives, is challen...
    Teachers in Kentucky could soon be taking politicians to school.More >>
    Teachers in Kentucky could soon be taking politicians to school.More >>

(RNN) -  President Barack Obama announced the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary General Eric Shinseki following several tumultuous weeks and pressure from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Operations at the Department of Veterans Affairs came into question after reports of long wait times at healthcare facilities became an issue, especially in Phoenix where dozens of people allegedly died as a result.

An inspector general's report detailed improper scheduling procedures throughout the VA hospital system.

"Our veterans deserve the best, they've earned it," Obama said Friday while speaking inside the White House.

Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson, who was confirmed to that position this past February, will become acting head of the department.

The president had previously voiced support for the embattled VA head, but said the resignation was Shinseki's idea and based on his own "good judgement."

Before accepting his resignation, Obama said Shinseki had begun the process of firing key people at the Phoenix VA.

"The VA is a very big organization that has had problems for a very long time, sometimes management problems sometimes funding problems," Obama said. "What we try to do is systematically identify the problem and go after it."

House Speaker John Boehner reacted by saying the change in leadership was merely superficial, not a move toward finding a solution.

"Until the president outlines a vision and an effective plan for addressing the broad dysfunction at the VA, today's announcement really changes nothing," Boehner said.

Shinseki made public comments Friday morning prior to the president's announcement, saying his office was working to contact each of the 1,700 veterans in Phoenix waiting for treatment. The goal is to accelerate care for them and others on waiting lists nationwide.

"We now know the VA has a systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity within some of our veterans' health facilities," Shinseki said. "That breach of trust involves the tracking of patient wait times for appointments. Our initial findings of our ongoing internal review of other large VA healthcare facilities also shows that to be true. That breach of integrity is irresponsible, indefensible and unacceptable."

He also said he was "too trusting of some" working in the system and called upon Congress to support a proposed bill that would give the VA secretary greater power to remove senior officials.

Shinseki is a retired Army four-star general and has served as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs since January 2009. He served as Chief of Staff of the Army from 1999 until 2003, a tenure that included overseeing operations in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He retired from active duty in August 2003.

He is a 1965 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation, he was wounded twice while serving two tours of duty during the Vietnam War.

Shinseki also holds a master's degree from Duke University and is a graduate of the National War College.

The VA healthcare system was established in 1930 and currently has more than 1,700 facilities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Guam and American Samoa. That includes 152 hospitals, but the bulk of those facilities are the VA's 800 outpatient clinics.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly