- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk wants the director of a suburban Chicago veterans hospital to step down.

The Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital is being investigated in response to allegations that secret waiting lists were used to hide delays in appointments.

Kirk told reporters Friday that Director Joan Ricard should resign. Ricard has denied there were secret wait lists.

There has been no word from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general about any wrongdoing.

The Republican senator and Navy veteran has seized on more than $16 million in bonuses for Hines staff since 2011. Kirk called it “an obscene amount of money” for staff turning out what he called “a low level of care.”

Hines spokeswoman Charity Hardison says Ricard is committed to providing the best care possible.


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