Congress members say VA failed to provide documents about whistleblower

VA response to request delayed by a week

WASHINGTON D.C. - A Tampa Bay area congressman is demanding answers from the VA concerning a man who says he was fired for speaking out.

Congressman David Jolly and other members of Congress asked the VA for the personnel file of a local whistle blower more than a week ago, but so far the VA hasn't supplied it.

In a follow up letter sent by a congressional committee late Monday, VA officials were put on notice that they had until the end of the day Tuesday to comply.

Jolly is putting Veterans Affairs on notice that it needs to provide Congress documents regarding a local VA whistleblower immediately.

Last week, former St. Petersburg Veterans Service Benefits Rating Representative Javier Soto testified for hours before the Committee on Veterans Affairs about problems at the VA.

“On June 30, I was, for the lack of a better definition and a think the legal definition is, laid off,” Soto said.

“I put out various notices of wrongdoing in the workplace,” he testified.

“This is a case of urgency. Mr. Soto came and testified before the U.S. Congress making serious allegations...allegations that I would say every American hopes are not true,” Jolly said.

Soto said that despite a history of promotions and good reviews, he was fired from Bay Pines Medical Center after reporting quality control issues.

“I received a letter that said ‘your services are no longer required’ and that was the end of my employment,” Soto testified.

The VA told Congress that Soto was fired with cause, leading Jolly and committee chairman Jeff Miller to send a letter on July 15 requesting his personnel file and directing the VA to cooperate fully.

A second letter was sent Monday after no information had been provided.

“This should be an easy one for the VA. Not a hard one. And every day that they delay, they feed the suspicion that the American people have that there's a crisis within the VA,” Jolly said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Jolly’s spokesperson informed us that the VA finally delivered documents to the Veterans Affairs Committee Office.

We reached out to the VA for a response, but didn't hear back.

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