Senator Ron Johnson: Complaints over Tomah VA didn't go to majority oversight panel members

TOMAH (AP) — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says staffers working for minority members of an oversight committee never forwarded a whistleblower's complaints about problems at Tomah's Veterans Affairs medical center to the panel's majority members.

Johnson, an Oshkosh Republican, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that a staffer in his Oshkosh office received emails from Ryan Honl in September. He told Honl he would send the complaints on to minority staffers attached to the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Contracting Oversight. Democrats controlled the panel then.

Johnson said the minority staff didn't realize the gravity of the complaints because they weren't aware of a VA report documenting problems at the facility. That report wasn't shared outside the agency.

The VA is currently investigating reports of overprescribing drugs and retaliatory behavior at the center.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement regarding the release of findings from phase one of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) investigation at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

“These initial findings substantiate the troubling concerns my office has heard from current and former employees and patients at the Tomah VA. As the investigation builds on this troubling evidence and moves forward, it is critical that it be conducted in a detailed, thorough, and transparent manner. I also believe that the final result of this investigation must include appropriate corrective action that brings accountability to those responsible for the problems at the Tomah VA and puts in place solutions to prevent these problems and tragedies from ever happening again. My goal is to ensure the VA delivers the timely and highest-quality care our Wisconsin veterans have earned.”

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