The Topeka Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Public domain)
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A morale patch on the backpack of U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Thomas James, senior enlisted advisor to the California Military Department adjutant general, reads that the fun meter is set to max during his visit to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, as part of a Federal Legislative Field Day, Sept. 18, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard/Senior Airman Crystal Housman)
Allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers in the California National Guard are more widespread than the complaints made at a Fresno air base that led to a dramatic leadership shakeup of the organization earlier this month, The Times has found.
Interviews with current and former Guard members and an examination of internal documents show that complaints go well beyond Fresno and extend to the army side as well. The allegations have come from fighter pilots, a top military prosecutor, Special Forces officers and a colonel who hoped to head the organization.
They allege a pattern of both retaliation against whistleblowers and others who accuse their superiors of misconduct and a failure of the Guard's justice system to protect them.