BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - In May, patients at the VA Hospital were outraged to learn executives there were raking in big bonuses. Those payouts came around the same time the VA was in the middle of some scandals, both here and across the nation. People wondered why executives were being rewarded when there were some problems in patient care.
Wednesday morning Congress has some questions too. Congress plans to look into some of the bonuses that were handed out to VA administrators who oversaw hospitals, including the VA Hospital in Buffalo. They especially want to know more about the bonuses that were given to those that administered hospitals that had serious, and at times deadly, results with patient care.
The Buffalo VA exposed over 700 patients to hepatitis over a two-year period by reusing insulin pens. CBS News has learned that during that time, upstate New York Regional Director David West was awarded nearly $26,000 in bonuses. Buffalo VA Medical Director Brian Stiller said this after the insulin pen incidents came to light, “Nobody gets up in the morning to come here and put veterans at risk. And so, to our veterans, we absolutely are sorry.”
Congressman Chris Collins responded quickly after the insulin pen incidents. Collins said, “I believe the secretary should be relieved of his job; I believe the undersecretary should be relieved. You have to clean house at some point in time, to bring someone in who says, 'Veterans come first.'”
The problem is not only in Buffalo. Last fall, Dave and Bob Nicklas lost their 87-year-old father to legionnaires’ disease. William Nicklas, a Navy veteran, caught the deadly pneumonia at the Pittsburgh VA. Just days after the VA’s inspector general found that the Pittsburgh hospital failed to prevent the outbreak, the regional director was given a $63,000 service award.
The families of the five veterans who died from the legionnaires outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA Hospital are now suing the Veterans Administration. Congress will return to Washington the second week of September.
A Town of Tonawanda restaurant owner has been arrested and charged with strangulation and assault.
Investigators have pieced together who is responsible for dumping a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
State Police need your help finding the pickup truck driver who pinned a mother against her vehicle as she was loading her baby and young son into it and then fled the scene.
The suspension of a 6-year-old boy for kissing a girl at school is raising questions about whether the peck should be considered sexual harassment.
Law enforcement agencies in El Paso County, Colorado have made an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a western New York native.
The Cattraugus County Sheriff’s Office says a 17-year-old male from East Otto was arrested on Monday evening.