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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Spokane Veteran Affairs Medical Center

VA hospital locked down over gun threat

The Spokane veterans hospital was locked down Tuesday after a man with a history of gun threats said he was going to return with a gun when his narcotics prescription refill was denied.

John Alvin Barr II, 26, apparently was upset he couldn't immediately the prescription when he went to the Spokane Veteran Affairs Medical Center at 4815 N. Assembly St., Tuesday about 5:45 p.m.

Employees told Barr that his physician had left for the day and was unavailable to authorize the refill. A hospital administrator refused to authorize the refill because he noticed it wasn't the first time Barr had requested unscheduled refills.

When told that, Barr reportedly said “I guess I'm just gonna have to go home and get my .45 then,” according to court documents.

It was the third time since September 2010 Barr had made threats involving a firearm, hospital staff say. The facility was locked down because employees were concerned Barr might carry out the threat.

Barr brought firearms to the hospital in October 2005 and was put on probation for three years beginning in March 2006.

Barr, of Wallace, Idaho, appeared in U.S. District Court on gun charges Wednesday and was ordered to remain in jail. A hearing to determine if he can be granted bail is scheduled for today at 2:30 p.m.

Army vet jailed for false mileage claims

A man who made more than $20,000 in false mileage reimbursement by lying to the Spokane Veteran Affairs Medical Center about where he lived is to spend six months in jail.

Michael Edward Harrison, 27, is to be on probation for three years and is required to pay $20,464.92 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs under a sentence imposed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Harrison, an Army veteran, pleaded guilty in May to four counts of making a false claim for travel benefits.

Veteran Affairs reimburses patients at the Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center 41.5 cents per mile driven to and from the hospital. Harrison lived on West Francis Avenue in Spokane, less than three miles from the hospital, but filed 202 claims between September 2009 and October 2010 that said he traveled from Omak - a 280-mile round trip, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

“The actions of this individual served to divert some of VA's limited financial resources, from deserving veterans, into his own pocket,” Michael Seitler, special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Office of Inspector General's northwest office, said in a prepared statement. “VA OIG is confident that this successful prosecution will assist in deterring others from defrauding the VA in this manner.”

Harrison is to report to the U.S. Marshals Service by noon on Aug. 16.

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