Report: VA handed out big bonuses during scandal

Posted at 11:20 PM, Nov 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-11 23:20:45-05

Norfolk, Va. - Despite facing scandal, employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs received $142 million in bonuses in 2014, according to a report by USA Today.

The bonuses came at a time the department faced a criticism over wait times for appointments at some VA Hospitals.

"It's kind of shocking that they still pay themselves bonuses," said James Evans from VFW Post 3160 in Ocean View. "Veterans are falling through the cracks."

Wednesday night is dart league night the Norfolk VFW Post, where about 800 veterans are members. Several said they want to see changes to the VA. "They're not too happy to be honest with you," said Jill Barnes, the VFW Post Commander. "Everything is just a wait."

In 2014, whistleblowers at VA hospitals all over the country came forward saying doctors had secret lists to cover up long wait times. At a VA hospital in Wisconsin, a doctor over-prescribed opiates to veterans. One vet died, according to USA Today. Still, managers got bonuses.

Local vets say they hope the VA will fix its problems. "I'm hoping that within the next five to ten years, they'll get all this together," said Barnes. "They'll get the right people in leadership positions to get this fixed."

In response to USA Today, a spokesperson for the VA said the department would review ways to attract the best talent while being a "good steward of taxpayer funds."