At a press conference Friday morning, President Obama said he accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Sloan Gibson, the VA’s deputy secretary, will take control of the agency. Gibson was the former president and CEO of the USO. Speaking about Shinseki, Obama said, “I am grateful for his service, as are many veterans across the country.” He said Shinseki told him, “The VA needs new leadership to address it.” The president also noted Shinseki’s lifetime of service, and pointed out that he had already begun firing leaders responsible and canceled performance bonuses for what internal investigations have revealed to be widespread misconduct.
Recent reports of improprieties included whistleblower accounts of the Texas system, which was accused of being run like “a crime syndicate.” As a result, the internal investigation that triggered the resignation of Shinseki spread from Phoenix to a total of 42 separate VA facilities.