Secretary of VA responds to questions on Deshon Woods debacle
By Bofta Yimam
Nov 17, 2015
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald calls himself the new sheriff. He was appointed by President Obama last year and he was in Pittsburgh for a university lecture Tuesday.
We took the opportunity to ask McDonald about our investigation into the decimation of Deshon Woods in Butler Township and the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars. The small community expected the new VA health care clinic to be built at the site of Deshon Woods, but the contract with the approved company was canceled.
"The VA is improving, give us another try, if you've already tried us once we're trying to rebuild trust," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald.
It was the underlining message McDonald sent into a University of Pittsburgh lecture - an audience full of potential VA employees, but rebuilding trust is not as easy for those in Butler Township.
"People are very angry about it, people are very upset about it," said Amy Smith, Butler Township.
Action News Investigates highlighted the VA's failure to properly vet a company before it was approved to build a new health care clinic at Deshon Woods.
The result? Pristine woods were torn down before that company's contract was canceled due to an Office of Inspector General report that uncovered major flaws, including a finding that the company "was financed by a man who plead guilty to bribery and racketeering charges."
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