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Posted inCriminal JusticeReturning Home to Battle

Ex-VA hospital director facing corruption charges received bonuses

A former Department of Veterans Affairs hospital director indicted on 36 corruption-related charges received thousands of dollars in bonuses during the same period he is accused of taking bribes and kickbacks from contractors who received lucrative contracts with the agency.   VA data obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that William Montague, head […]

Posted inBenefitsReturning Home to Battle

VA backs off promise to fix veterans’ claim backlog

Navy veteran Wallace Watson, 60, shown at his home in Fremont, Calif., applied for veteran disability benefits in September 2010 and says he recently got an exam. “For the first time, I feel like something is actually happening,” he said.Erik Verduzco / For the Center for Investigative Reporting The Department of Veterans Affairs has systematically […]

Posted inBenefitsReturning Home to Battle

Use our data, share your story: CIR launches VA backlog API

When we published our interactive map of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of disability benefits claims in August, our goal was to highlight the delays’ impact on veterans across the country. Updated with new data from the VA each week, the map also serves as an ongoing accountability tracker for the agency’s progress on […]

Posted inBenefitsReturning Home to Battle

VA rewarded top officials with bonuses, despite growing claims backlog

In August, the VA’s inspector general said the weight of paper files at the agency’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office had compromised the structural integrity of the building.Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs The Department of Veterans Affairs handed out millions of dollars in bonuses to top officials over five years, even as the number […]

Posted inReturning Home to Battle

Has the VA’s Oakland office improved in a year?

The VA says its Oakland office has “significantly improved” since last year’s “Fix-It” forum, according to a statement released today. But internal VA performance data obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting show that while the number of Northern California veterans waiting on claim decisions has dropped slightly over the past year, delays have worsened considerably.

Posted inEducationU.S. Education

The Kids’ Menu

Once children walk out the door in the morning, what they eat is out of their parents’ control. Day care workers, school cooks, fast food vendors and friends can all throw roadblocks into a healthy diet.  Controlling what a child eats when he or she leaves the house is one of the hottest topics in […]

Posted inBenefitsReturning Home to Battle

House committee leader calls for head of VA benefits to resign

WASHINGTON – Concerned about broken promises of assistance for the nation’s veterans, Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called today for the head of the agency’s benefits administration to resign. Allison Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits, is seen at a hearing last year.C-SPAN screen shot Allison Hickey, the VA’s […]

Posted inEducationU.S. Education

State’s community colleges spend millions on duplicative administrators

Richard Raasueld studies at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. The district broke from the Desert Community College District in 1999. The region’s two districts, with one college each, are among the state’s smallest.Carlos Puma/California Watch The state’s 72 community college districts spend tens of millions of dollars on administrative positions that could be consolidated […]