Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) November 13, 2015 – President Barack Obama on Oct. 2 nominated lawyer Michael J. Missal to take over as permanent inspector general for the watchdog office of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Members of Congress have long called for the nomination of a permanent inspector general for the VA, saying it will bring more accountability to the department. In recent years, the VA has struggled to meet the health care needs of veterans and failed to provide timely decisions on benefits, along with dealing with scandal investigations and whistleblower retaliation.
“It is unacceptable that this important office has been without permanent leadership for close to two years. Appointing an objective inspector general for the VA will provide stability and oversight to a department that has been battling abuse and waste,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan-based veterans attorney.
A White House official said in a statement that Missal was nominated for the position partly due to his “proven record of expertly leading prominent, sensitive and extensive investigations.” Missal is a partner at international law firm K&L Gates. He previously served as senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. No timetable has been set for his confirmation vote by the Senate.
The VA Office of Inspector General has not had a permanent inspector general since George Opfer left the office in December 2013. Acting inspector general Richard Griffin retired in June after being criticized for failing to revamp the VA’s operations. Since then, lawmakers and critics have called on the White House to select a replacement.
Last year, the VA faced accusations of records manipulation and widespread mismanagement at its regional offices in 2014. Several prominent lawmakers questioned whether the inspector general investigators had done enough to expose the problems in departmental operations. The inspector general’s office has also been accused of retaliating against whistleblowers after the veterans’ health care scandal last year.
“For far too long, the department’s lack of permanent leadership has compromised the care of veterans. The focus needs to shift back to serving the best interests of veterans under the guidance of a strong leader,” said Fausone.
Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- VA revises access guidelines for service dogs at facilities
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is enforcing new rules to ensure that veterans and visitors to VA hospitals, clinics and other facilities can bring their service dogs to appointments. The new policy took effect on Sept. 16. Visitors to VA facilities can now bring service animals if they “are individually trained to perform work […]
- Veteran embarks on cross-country trek to raise awareness for PTSD
British army veteran Neil Davis is walking across the country to raise awareness about the help needed for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Davis arrived in the United States from Manchester, England, on July 29. He kicked off his journey on Aug. 1 from Cape Cod. So far, he has trekked through […]
- VA hosts conference on traumatic brain injury
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) held a two-day summit focusing on the treatment and research of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Washington, D.C. During his opening remarks at the conference on Aug. 24, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said that investing in TBI research can help solve the many problems that veterans face, such as […]
- Michigan senator introduces bill to help improperly discharged veterans
U.S. Senator Gary Peters has introduced legislation to help veterans who may not be receiving all the benefits they are entitled to as a result of being improperly discharged from the military due to behavioral changes. Peters, of Michigan, said the bill would ensure the fair treatment of veterans who were discharged because of behavior […]