Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 26° Clear
News >  Nation/World

VA chief leaves amid health-care scandal


Nicholson
 (The Spokesman-Review)
Nicholson (The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

WASHINGTON – Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson abruptly resigned Tuesday after months of the Bush administration struggling to defend charges of shoddy treatment for veterans injured in the Iraq war.

Nicholson, a former Republican National Committee chairman and a Vietnam veteran, was picked by President Bush to head the VA in 2005.

His resignation comes amid intense political and public scrutiny of the Pentagon and VA following reports of poor outpatient care of injured troops and veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and elsewhere.

It also ends a beleaguered two-year tenure in which Nicholson repeatedly fought off calls for his resignation over the VA’s unexpected $1.3 billion shortfall in 2005 that put health care at risk; last summer’s theft of 26.5 million veterans’ personal data in what was the government’s largest security breach; and, more recently, the award of $3.8 million in bonuses to senior officials who were responsible for the agency’s budget problems.

Walter Reed is a Pentagon-run facility. But charges of poor treatment relating to bad coordination quickly extended to the VA’s vast network of 1,400 hospitals and clinics, which serve 5.8 million veterans.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.