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VA Deputy Secretary Dismissed Today


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.

Julie Gould

References:

  1. 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.
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs. Statement from Secretary Robert Wilkie [press release]. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5391. February 3, 2020.
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