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Kind says Shinseki "didn't want to be a distraction" in VA probe


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) -- Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday after firing several top officials in VA hospitals and clinics in Arizona. Several Senators and Congressmen from both parties wanted Shinseki to step down in light of the veterans waiting list scandal.

Wisconsin’s 3rd District Congressman Ron Kind says the former Secretary did a lot of good for veterans, but to have veterans dying while waiting for appointments is unacceptable. Kind believes Shinseki realized he could not effectively lead the investigation.  “I know he always cared deeply about the lives of our veterans, and this always had to be about our veterans and not about him or anyone else, or any political attack, and so I think he realized that with all of the focus on him lately, he was becoming a bigger and bigger distraction and, and it was ultimately what was in the best interest of veterans.”

Kind says the next Veterans Administration Secretary should be someone with experience in veterans affairs and health care.  “What we need now is a turnaround artist, someone who’s capable of going in and taking a look at a large healthcare delivery system, and identifying what the problems are and coming forward with solutions and fixes so we never see this type of behavior happen again.”

President Barack Obama appointed Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson as the temporary head of the VA while he searches for a permanent replacement.