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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/11/14

Pioneer Veteran Whistleblower Still Awaiting Justice From the Office of Special Counsel

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Veteran MItchell Awaiting Justice
Veteran MItchell Awaiting Justice
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Long before the early 2014 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare shockwave involving VA employees manipulating patient appointment records, Oliver B. Mitchell, III, had contacted the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). In 2009, Mitchell told the independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency of internal abuses at the VA that he says "could have prevented some patient deaths."

"Instead of recognizing Mitchell's 2009 disclosure as an early warning of a broken system, the OSC chose not to refer the matter for investigation," says veteran Isaac Decatur, a former VA employee and a member of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C), a support and advocacy group for employees facing race discrimination and reprisal in the federal sector.

Notably, Oliver Mitchell, a Marine veteran of Desert Storm and former VA employee serving as GS-5 Patient Scheduling Clerk in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center Radiology Department, reported that during the Bush-Obama transition period VA officials "intentionally canceled backlogged patient exam requests."

Mitchell is now homeless. He says his homelessness resulted from "blowing the whistle" on VA's internal mismanagement and due, in part, to the OSC's failure to timely and properly address the dire concerns he brought in 2009 that posed a grave danger to veterans' health.

On July 3, 2014, Oliver B. Mitchell, III, forwarded an "OPEN LETTER" to the Office of Special Counsel. In the letter, Mitchell again requests that the OSC investigate his concerns including the infamous audio in which VA employees deliberate about the purging of patient backlog records.

Mitchell, who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, resides in a homeless shelter in California as he steadfastly awaits OSC's reply to his most recent request.

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Tanya Ward Jordan is the author of 17 STEPS: A Federal Employee's Guide For Tackling Workplace Discrimination. She serves as President and Founder of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C). C4C is an proactive non-profit self-help organization (more...)

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