Rep. Walz wants Minnesota VA clinic investigated after report of falsified records


After an investigative report by KARE 11 found employees at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center falsified records, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz is asking federal agencies to investigate.

In a letter to acting Inspector General Richard Griffin (which you can see embedded below), the Minnesota Democrat asks for verification that the "troubling" allegations detailed in the KARE 11 report are being "fully investigated" by the Office of the Inspector General, and requests to be kept apprised of its progress.

"If these allegations prove true, I was not given the full story from VA officials during my visit to the facilities, and during numerous interactions since," Walz, who serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee, wrote.

This embed is invalid

In the detailed KARE 11 report (read and watch the report here), two employees told the station they were instructed to write that patients declined a follow-up treatment, when in reality they'd never been contacted. Some of the cases involved patients with cancer, the employees told KARE.

Both were fired after the falsified reports were brought to higher-ups in the Minneapolis VA, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating claims they were fired for blowing the whistle, KARE says. The clinic denies that.

More trouble at VA clinics

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been under intense scrutiny since earlier this year, after the inspector general issued a report detailing systemic issues with health care for veterans. Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned May 30 after numerous politicians – including plenty from Minnesota – called for his exit.

Just days later, an investigation into VA wait times by USA Today found only about a third of new patients in Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Sioux Falls got in to see a health care provider within the VA's own 14-day target period for care. The average wait times for new patients at those three locations were 24 days or more.

The Hibbing VA clinic became the target of criticism shortly after that, with reports about high staff turnover, poor communication and trouble getting needed medications such as insulin, the Star Tribune reported. One man, 65-year-old Navy veteran Lonnie Lee, had to wait five months to get the open heart surgery he needed, the paper said.

The problems reportedly cropped up after a new company was hired to run the clinic.

Next Up


Child dies, driver critically injured in crash on I-90 in Faribault County

The crash happened at approximately 11:24 p.m. Tuesday.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, July 27

The newest data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Cold Spring

Charges: Family terrorized by alleged racist stalker who drove truck into their home

The victims say they had been targeted and stalked for 83 days prior to the incident.

Ricky Eloy Ramirez

Charges: TX man was acting paranoid before he shot man in MN hotel

He's accused of shooting the victim six times, killing him.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Suspect flees deputies on scooter, pickup truck before being Tasered

He was eventually tased while in a third vehicle, and arrested.

bonfire burning restrictions fire

7 counties added to Minnesota DNR's campfire burning ban

This comes amid the ongoing drought that's impacting the entire state.

storm damage

Storm damage in northern MN; severe weather threat through Wednesday

Storms could pack a punch again Tuesday and especially Wednesday.

oscar ortiz = moorhead manhunt

Moorhead police searching for 'armed and dangerous' murder suspect

The Moorhead PD is asking property owners to check their surveillance equipment for the suspect.