You are on page 1of 6

June 25, 2018

US Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington DC 20420

Attention Robert Wilkie, Acting VA Secretary

Dear Mr. Wilke,

I am writing in hopes someone will heed my concerns. I medically retired from the
Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) on 6/22/18, much sooner than expected due to
harassment of coworkers and management creating and condoning a hostile work
environment over my last 7 years.

In Jennings, LA, under the Pineville VA Medical Center, Alexandria, Louisiana within the
Jennings Home Based Primary Care Program (HBPC), our nation’s Veterans were subjected to
poor healthcare and lack of accountability of which I fully documented and reported in
accordance with the VA guidelines.

Documentation exists defining patient neglect, falsification of Veteran’s medical records,
fraudulent billing, misuse of government vehicles, tampering with government vehicle
tracking systems, and deceitful time documentation.

The VA policy states “VA does not tolerate retaliation. Any employee who feels he or she is
experiencing retaliation should contact the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower
Protection" but sadly it did not. I found reporting the disparities to my supervisors, HBPC
Coordinators, a VISN staff employee, Pineville VA Medical Director, the AFGE Union, Office of
Accountability and Whistleblower, quite useless. It finally came to me hiring an attorney to
keep my sanity, allowing me to finally breathe with less distress. My workplace hostile work
environment (HWE) of fear and discrimination forced my disability exacerbation to carry over
to my family and friends. A physician once told me to “lose the conscience or it will kill you”.

I have submitted evidence of HBPC Registered Nurses (RNs) documenting 11 home visits and
440+ miles traveled in 6 hours while the car log shows the car never moved (not humanly
possible), documenting home visits for 9 patients in 5 hours traveling 260+ miles while the car
log shows the car never moved, 1000's of hours of overbilling, even billing for more than 24
hours in one day, excessive billing for vaccinations, encountering visits as phone calls and
phone calls as visits. I have recorded and reported RNs not going to work but claiming
compensatory time for additional hours, documenting incorrectly fraudulent billing for home
visits after a patient passes away, and documenting visits after patient’s death, within the VA
medical record. One RN even encountered (billed) a visit for a patient she found deceased.
As a part of my duties I have witnessed and documented VA Home Based Primary Care
medical staff not following through on orders indiscriminately, radiology tests not completed,
missed medications and missed required laboratory tests. Standardized VA medical record
templates were not used by RNs resulting in inaccurate documentation of vital records. To
maintain compliance with The Joint Commission, the clergy was completing documentation
of the Nursing care plans because RNs refused to abide by program requirements.
Admittance of service connected patients were delayed for the convenience of the RN's and
based on location.

Medical staff using VA cars for personal use per GPS and bringing VA cars home in direct
violation with facility policy. I was not given employee schedules, contrary to that being
listed as part of my duties in the national handbook, because the staff didn’t want me to
know what was happening. I was removed from group emails, not alerted on patient care
when I had a need to know and frankly just ignored and not allowed to do my job.

HBPC physician and Coordinator discovered 2000+ expired Tylenol prescribed by the VA in a
very elderly home bound patient’s bag despite the RN documenting for months she had
reconciled the medications is a falsified standard of care and should have raised concerns
after the Report of Contact was submitted. It was the same RN that had falsified she had seen
11 and 9 patients in a day while the car never moved and within an impossible time period.

There is an environment within the Home Based Primary Care program that supports staff
stalking me or watching me for years, allowing bullying and intimidating me and HBPC
Coordinators. It is documented and management is aware, ignoring the reports of staff
repeatedly making false allegations me, the whistleblower, and/or supervisors attempting to
hold the offending staff accountable for blatant violations of policy and ethical concerns.

Specifically, it appears there may have been a creation of some sort of Home Health Agency,
Managed Healthcare Partners, LLC, owned by 3 VA staff members for referrals to be made to
defraud the government of additional monies; if not, the least would be seeing their own
patients during work VA hours and not coming to work while on the clock. There is
documentation of 2 RNs and 1 Nurse Practitioner (NP) collaborating among them to provide
patient care beyond during duty hours and while utilizing government vehicles. When 12
stops are made but only 2 are HBPC patients, there is a problem.

Religious and disability bigotry has been documented by me and immediate supervisors going
back to 2011. NOT ONE person ever asked how they could help me, NOT ONE person
attempted to speak to me about what I was reporting, they just thought I was the "crazy"
clerk, contrary to all the documentation and emails. A large percentage of these people were
in a position to help me and they had professional licenses. It was just easier to ignore me
hoping I would eventually quit or die of a heart attack caused by my fear, religious attacks
and the hostile work environment. I've been stalked while on and off duty and had pictures
taken of me while on FMLA leave. Co-workers have reported my every move – documented
in an email from coworker to management dated 2/1/17, stating there were pictures taken;
stating they knew I was a whistleblower and wanted me removed; stating they knew I was
sitting behind a locked door while I was physically 100 miles away and on duty and that I was
sitting behind a locked door at the office and they thought I should sit out front, at my own
desk, not knowing I had been assigned to the locked office due to my fear.

Text message threads between myself and my supervisor s or one other particular employee-
one where I stated, "This wouldn't be happening if I were black" and the supervisor
responded "yes". The texts documenting me vomiting blood in the trash can, due to the
moral and ethical violations I have witnessed, the RN hiding a VA Police Officer in her office
while the others attempt to bait the HBPC Coordinator into an argument and others that
should be of concern.

At one point the Social Work Service Chief was informing numerous people, who did not have
a right to know, that I was on FMLA or sick leave. There are over 40 instances of this
reporting. A few of the employees I did not know nor had I ever met them. The employee felt
the need evidently to let all managers in social work know when people were on leave and
what kind of leave they were taking.

There were reports of contact submitted regarding the social worker faxing orders to the NP’s
house fax so she didn't have to report to the office while home health orders piled up in her
folder. The social worker had initially asked me to do it but I declined knowing something
was not ethically correct.

There is documentation that a person in Pineville HCS VA leadership notified a previous HBPC
Program Director I was "crazy" and a "troublemaker", “not to listen to me”. The Program
Director told me he actually believed them for a while... until I started submitting accurate
allegations. He documented to me that I was to sit in a locked office until he could get
guidance from management on how to handle the situation. He was transferred shortly
thereafter and also given a Cease and Desist letter to include no contact with me. The Cease
and Desist letter does not just state between work hours, but infers that no contact at all is
allowed. Why? Should the VA tell employees what they can and can’t do after hours?

My religion had been discussed by my coworkers in a meeting, with a supervisor present, and
was documented more than once in an email - my religion preference was also documented
in a Supervisors Inquiry in 2012. This would be in direct violation with my Civil Liberties.

There were numerous emails dating back to 2011 of my fear, paranoia, watching over my
shoulder and my coworker watching me. It is documented in a Supervisors Inquiry from 2012
how I was afraid one staff member would "physically harm" me. Management has been
notified of all my concerns, including security concerns reported of coworkers continually
disarming the backdoor alarm, but they ignored me for years. The previous HBPC Coordinator
even documented how my coworkers harassed him and how I was harassed; supporting my
claims, stating he knew how I felt.
In addition to the HBPC staff harassment and retaliation, another employee was assigned to
work in close proximity with me. He had numerous felony convictions prior to the VA hiring
him and who was ordering his drugs via email while employed by the VA. He had been
“banished” to my office because of concerns filed from his coworkers. A news article stated
the VA determined he was a “direct threat to others and the VA’s Mission”. They should
have known that before they hired him instead of allowing employees to work in fear. They
were aware of the work environment in my building and assigned him to HBPC building
knowing there wasn’t working alarms or security at the time.

Then there is the other employee who completed pretrial diversion for attempted forcible
rape and then was promoted numerous steps to HR. Why was he allowed to make continual
contact with female employees, including me?

The Pineville Medical Director finally started an "investigation" on my behalf in June 2017,
5.5 years after my first email stating my fear and paranoia. In the "Charge Letter" to initiate
the fact finding, the Director didn't even bother to call me by name, only my job title...... and
it stated it was for allegations “stemming back to 2011”. Why did he wait so long when I had
been documenting my fears to management since 9/11?

The incomplete investigation did not include all of my stated witnesses, nor my Reasonable
Accommodation requests, which was conveniently denied 2 days after the Charge Letter was
initiated. No one seemed concerned I was vomiting blood in the trash can at work and living
in fear for almost 6 years. I was hospitalized twice for illness caused from the stress, once I
could have died. I have taken 3000+ hours of leave without pay since I started HBPC, while I
was steady being bullied, stalked and ostracized by my VA coworkers. One text from a former
NP stated “you better be careful”.
That should not be.

Management had denied numerous Reasonable Accommodation requests for me, so I filed
with 2 different Equal Employment Opportunity employees, and additional Reasonable
Accommodation relocation requests, citing fear and physically ailment due to work place
stressors. The requests were denied by the Nursing Chief while I was assigned under Social
Work.

In January 2016, I signed accepting my performance standards with my supervisor, I have
documentation of that. In May 2017, I was reassigned to a new supervisor, per an email the
newly appointed supervisor sent me, and I was only allowed to whistle blow or report things
if they were "egregious". At no point in my work history under this supervisor was I provided
amended performance standards, nor a performance review to define any less than
satisfactory duties. Three months later I was provided a "Letter of Expectation" specifically
removing an element from my Performance Standards - the element that allowed me to see
information that I was reporting as “egregious” actions and whistleblowing about. It was
brought to light during this investigatory process that the new supervisor who took over in
May amended my Performance Standards at one point, without my knowledge, initialed it
and submitted it to the EEOC investigation. The same supervisor failed to disclose the Letter
of Expectation to the investigation. I had refused to sign it. It appeared to be written on
duties that I had been reporting for the last 6 years. She had turned the tables to appear as if
I was the wrong doer instead of the whistleblower.

During the course of the EEO investigation inaccurate or false information was submitted on
behalf of the VA; omission of a black employee on the employee list, improper reporting of a
white employee as black and numerous detailed employee locations are inaccurate. This
investigation was based on a formal complaint filed against the VA by me in September,
2016. If I were to report or fail to report properly I would held to a higher standard and
expected to comply completely. What was the VA trying to hide? The investigation does
entail race discrimination and they improperly reported race, among other things.

There is an email stating the director doesn't want to be "bcc'd" on things pertaining to my
Jennings HBPC, he has faith management will handle it - same email stating Jennings HBPC
was in "chaos". I guess they handled me because the white, paranoid, afraid, stalked, not
religious enough whistleblower is finally gone.

I found out the day I retired that I was again treated differently than my coworkers. When
HBPC program was aligned under Social Work, the nurse staff were still assigned under
Nursing Service, thus the Nursing Service approved leave and maintained supervisory
authority. In 2017, HBPC was aligned under the Nursing Service, which I question if the move
is in direct violation of VA directives, and my position was evidently not moved with the
program. It now appears I was left under Social Work, per my SF-50 and my retirement
papers. Why was I forced to have Nursing Service approve or deny leave or Reasonable
Accommodation requests? Why were all my concerns not addressed by the department to
which I was assigned to according to Human Resources? Dr. James Lawhorn, Chief of Nursing,
was the disapprover of my Reasonable Accommodations as well as the Chief responsible for
the staff I was reporting. Since my position was aligned under Social Work, was it
appropriate for Dr. Lawhorn in Nursing to have authority to deny/approve leave and
Reasonable Accommodation requests or was it an abuse of power?

Ironically, management has decided not to renew the lease on the HBPC building where I was
requesting to be removed from. Inevitably, I would have been moved to the CBOC that I
originally requested in my Reasonable Accommodation request in 2017 and the coworkers
who I reported as improperly documenting and misusing VA time have been given telework
authority to work even more autonomously. It appears that it’s the VA way…out of sight, out
of mind. With the offending staff on telework there is less opportunity for a concerned, law-
abiding, tax paying whistleblower to report anything egregious.

Sadly I was never approved the accommodation requests to relocate to another building or
the request for telework as Reasonable Accommodations. The appeal was also denied by
Peter Dancy, Director. When two different EEO Officers ignored my requests 8 months apart,
I should have realized at that point that something was amiss.

Employees should not be forced to work in fear, especially to the point it causes them
physical harm and medical ailments, all because they whistle blow and only want the best for
the veteran.

It's a gloomy situation for our veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sincerely,

Crystal LeJeune
337-427-1612 (cell)

CC Senator Jon Tester
Michael Volpe