Whistleblowers allege wrongdoing at VA center

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal investigative agency says employees at a Veterans Administration hospital in Jackson, Miss., disclosed "serious wrongdoing" that raises questions about the facility's ability to care for the veterans it serves.

In a letter sent Monday to the White House, the Office of Special Counsel said an initial report by a whistleblower employee at the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center alleged in 2009 that the staff routinely failed to properly clean and sterilize reusable medical equipment such as scalpels.

The VA investigated and confirmed many of the allegations and said it took corrective actions. In 2011, however, another whistleblower employee alleged that the problems persisted. A VA investigation did not substantiate that allegation, but the Office of Special Counsel said Monday it found the VA's findings unreasonable.

In all, five whistleblower employees lodged complaints; two of the cases are still under VA investigation.