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Acting chief says VA won't tolerate intimidation

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson is warning VA administrators that he won't tolerate intimidation or retaliation against anyone who calls attention to problems within the veterans' health system.

Gibson spoke Friday at a news conference in San Antonio after visiting a VA facility there.

Federal investigators are examining allegations that VA supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed “whistleblower” complaints. It included some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing scandal within the VA system.

Gibson said the VA would follow laws that forbid whistleblower retaliation.

The scandal has centered on long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

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