Watchdog: Retaliation complaints jump at VA

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal investigative agency says it is looking into claims that Veterans Affairs supervisors retaliated against 67 employees who filed whistleblower complaints, including 25 filed since June 1, after a growing health care scandal became public.

The independent Office of Special Counsel says 30 of the complaints about retaliation have passed the initial review stage and are being further investigated for corrective action and possible discipline against VA supervisors and other executives.

Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner provided the updated figures in testimony prepared for a Tuesday night hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee. The Associated Press obtained a copy of her testimony in advance.

In a related development, the VA said it is restructuring its Office of Medical Inspector after a highly critical report by Lerner's office last week.

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