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Former Veterans Affairs Secretary may get his job back

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John Scocos (right)  Photo credit: Wisconsin Radio Network
John Scocos (right) Photo credit: Wisconsin Radio Network

MADISON (WSAU) Former state Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos has applied to get his old job back. A new state law gives the governor the power to appoint the agency’s leader. And Scott Walker’s office told the Wisconsin State Journal that Scocos is one of eight candidates the governor is considering.

Spokesman Cullen Werwie says Walker is reviewing the applications, and he’s expected to make an appointment in the next two weeks. The post has been vacant since Ken Black quit earlier this year. Black took the job after the state Veterans Affairs Board fired Scocos in late 2009, soon after he returned from a tour-of-duty in Iraq. The board accused Scocos of making major decisions without its blessing. And the panel blamed Scocos for the over-spending of $700,000 at a veterans nursing home, which came to light while he was serving in Iraq.

Scocos still has a federal lawsuit pending. It accuses the veterans’ board of violating employment laws that protect the jobs of active service members when they return. The lawsuit also asks that Scocos get his old job back. For now, Scocos is a deputy secretary in the state’s Department of Safety-and-Professional Services.

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