VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said, "We are committed to sustainable accountability."

VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said, "We are committed to sustainable accountability." Robert Turtil / VA

VA Tries to Punish Senior Leaders in Cincinnati for Misconduct

Department proposed firing Jack Hetrick, but he retired; Dr. Barbara Temeck has been reassigned pending further discipline.

The Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday moved to punish two senior leaders accused of misconduct in Ohio as part of its ongoing effort to improve accountability at the VA.

Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson proposed firing Jack Hetrick, the Veterans Integrated Service Network director for Region 10, which includes Cincinnati. But Hetrick retired on Thursday. Dr. Barbara Temeck, acting chief of staff at the Cincinnati Medical Center, has been reassigned to non-patient-care duties pending “appropriate administrative action,” according to a VA press release.

A Feb. 16 news report from Scripps and WPCO detailed whistleblower claims that alleged Temeck shortchanged vets’ quality of care to save money and improperly prescribed Valium and another controlled substance to Hetrick’s wife. Temeck and Hetrick are longtime professional colleagues, and Hetrick, as director of Region 10, was Temeck’s boss.

VA’s Office of Medical Inspector and Office of Accountability conducted a review of the allegations at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center from Feb. 9-11, and did not substantiate accusations that Temeck “directed the referral of veterans for care in the community as a cost-shifting mechanism, resulting in poor quality of care,” according to the press release. But the department did substantiate “misconduct by both Hetrick and Temeck related to Temeck’s provision of prescriptions and other medical care to members of Hetrick’s family.” Temeck did not have a valid license to prescribe the medication to Hetrick’s wife, according to the news report and the VA’s investigation. The VA inspector general accepted a referral from the department for a possible criminal investigation.

“We are committed to sustainable accountability,” said Gibson in a statement. “We will continue to use VA’s statutory authority to hold employees accountable where warranted by the evidence. That is simply the right thing to do for veterans and taxpayers.”

The news report also stated that Temeck had been receiving two salaries at the same time, one for the acting chief of staff job, and another for her work as a thoracic surgeon. Whistleblowers alleged that Temeck only assisted in the operating room, and never worked as a surgeon at the Cincinnati facility.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said despite the punishment, both Hetrick and Temeck “are still collecting taxpayer-funded paychecks,” and in a statement, criticized the federal personnel system. “Almost every day we are reminded that the federal civil service system is designed to coddle and protect corrupt and incompetent employees, and that the Obama administration’s refusal to address this dysfunctional status quo is doing real harm to veterans and taxpayers.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, asked the VA IG on Feb. 17 to “undertake a swift and independent investigation of these matters, including not only reports of substandard clinical care, but also potential mismanagement and misconduct by the leadership of the hospital and the department officials in charge of overseeing it.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.