Charisma Caucus

This Is How 'The Swamp' Strikes Back

Former VA Health Care Caribbean Director DeWayne Hamlin
Former VA Health Care Caribbean Director DeWayne Hamlin is back to work for the VA despite having been fired by President Donald Trump for gross misconduct. (VA photo)

During the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, VA Caribbean Healthcare System Director DeWayne Hamlin became the poster child of corruption in the federal government that is now known simply as "The Swamp."

Hamlin was accused of:

  • driving under the influence,
  • diverting painkillers to himself without prescriptions,
  • improper delegation of authority,
  • rampant violation of government leave policies,
  • negligent hiring practices and
  • inducing fraud against another federal employee (who also happened to be the VA whistleblower).

So, when it was leaked on Inauguration Day that President Donald Trump had fired the civil service employee, many veterans' advocates cheered the move. But, that was hardly the end of the story, which demonstrates just how difficult it will be for the president to complete his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

The Daily Caller is reporting that Hamlin is back on the job:

Hamlin was fired Jan. 20, the day of President Trump's inauguration. But numerous employees of the Puerto Rico VA told TheDCNF they were shocked and disgusted to see him return to the facility this month.

VA lawyers were coy, writing on May 9 that "No, Mr. Hamlin is certainly not back on his job ... we are waiting on a new hearing date from the judge at the moment."

But pressed to explain the sightings, Hutton acknowledged he was "brought back to work at VA." Hutton did not say what his job title is, but he is not listed as the hospital's director.

Secretary Shulkin has increasingly faulted the MSPB for interpreting civil service rules in a way that blocks discipline of employees even when there is a slam-dunk case demonstrating severe misconduct.

He has pleaded for legislation making it easier for managers to deal with problem workers, but proposals have frequently stalled in the Senate under Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.

Click here to read more of the report.

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