VAOIG “Acting” Head Honcho Richard Griffin ordered all VA facilities, both VHA as well as VBA Regional Offices, to install new Binford 5000 Copymatic shredders. These automatically record the documents shredded and keep a facsimile of the destroyed documents in their memory for a week. An additional upgrade to preserve the memory indefinitely was discounted as being unnecessary and cost prohibitive.
Acting Inspector General Griffin also stated that the Presumption of Regularity attaches to all things VA does and employees would never shred pertinent documents in the middle of an investigation. With the full knowledge that the OIG is en route, a week’s recordings are considered adequate for preservation of evidence. When queried as to the normal time necessary to saddle up the posse and head out to Phoenix, Griffin said the usual turn around is several months. How this squares with a week’s preservation of the documents was not addressed. Mr. Griffin also abruptly changed the subject and ignored entreaties to elaborate.
With the continuing revelations of impropriety and midnight shredding parties, Griffin was quick to point out that no evidence of secret lists have surfaced in prior visits but acknowledged that if they were hidden -i.e. secreted or electronically inaccessible, that it was possible for VAMC officials to circumvent the hard work of the VAOIG’s investigators. However, in light of VAMC personnel deeply devoted to Veterans Health, this scenario was about as likely as flying pigs in his estimation.
“We try hard to get to the bottom of allegations when they arise but Veterans are a paranoid bunch of folks and see a conspiracy around every corner. Eventually it becomes a classic case of the boy crying “Wolf” and our inspectors become inured to the complaints’. Griffin said.
Griffin went on to say in a prepared press release “Rest assured that if evidence of malfeasance is present on site, we’ll find it. Nothing gets by us. As for Dr. Katherine Mitchell coming forth to substantiate Dr. Foote’s allegation of secret lists, VAOIG is investigating credible reports they were having an ongoing affair at the Phoenix VAMC during business hours. We have substantiated that much so far thus her testimony is not deemed credible. As for Dr. Mitchell’s allegations of personally intervening yesterday to prevent further destruction of the alleged secret lists, we have been unable to substantiate her presence on site at the VAMC. These are merely rumors and innuendo. We will have a complete report out by 2016 that will carefully debunk anything about secret lists and ask the Senators and Congressmen to hold their water until the
fix er, facts are in. Thank you”.
OFFICIAL SEAL OF