- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs fired former Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center Director Brian Hawkins Wednesday for “failure to provide effective leadership” at the D.C. Medical Center.

The department said it took this action using authorities provided by the VA Accountability Act, which President Trump signed into law in June. Mr. Hawkins was notified in late August that he was facing removal.

“We at VA will use the authorities available to ensure our veterans get the highest quality service and care possible,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “This is the right decision for veterans in D.C., and employees at the medical center, and underscores our commitment to hold employees accountable if they fail to do their jobs or live up to VA’s values.”

The VA initiated the action after the department’s Office of Inspector General issued a new report finding that Mr. Hawkins violated VA policy by sending sensitive VA information from his work email to his wife on unsecured private email accounts.

Mr. Hawkins was fired as director of the VA Medical Center earlier in the year, but appealed the decision and had returned to work pending further review. There were additional concerns about staffing and management as well that led to Mr. Hawkins’ initial firing.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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