February 03, 2020
According to a statement by Robert Wilkie, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary, James Byrne, VA deputy secretary, has been fired.
“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties,” Mr Wilkie said in a statement.
Although Mr Wilkie did not give any further details regarding the decision, he noted that “this decision is effective immediately.”
According to CNBC, “Byrne’s termination came amid a controversy over how the VA had treated an allegation that a House committee advisor had been sexually harassed and assaulted by a man when she was visiting the VA Medical Center in Washington last fall.”
My Byrne is a former Marine infantry officer. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 81-11 in September of 2019. Prior to his confirmation, Mr Byrne served as acting secretary of the VA since August 2018 and was named general counsel of the agency a year prior.
Additionally, Mr Byrne was once the chief privacy officer at Lockheed Martin Corp, and has also worked as an international narcotics prosecutor for the Justice Department.
- CNBC. Veterans Affairs deputy secretary James Byrne fired 5 months after Senate confirmed Trump appointee. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/03/veterans-affairs-deputy-secretary-james-byrne-out-of-job.html. February 3, 2020.
- Department of Veterans Affairs. Statement from Secretary Robert Wilkie [press release]. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5391. February 3, 2020.