WASHINGTON — The chief medical inspector for the Department of Veterans Affairs has retired, following a report that his office downplayed whistleblower complaints outlining serious problems at VA facilities across the country, acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday.
Dr. John R. Pierce had served as medical inspector since 2004 and was deputy medical inspector for two years before that.
Pierce's office came under scrutiny last week, after the independent Office of Special Counsel issued a scathing report that identified "a troubling pattern of deficient patient care" at VA facilities across the country.
The problems were pointed out by whistleblowers but downplayed by the medical inspector and other top officials, the report said.
Pierce is one of a half-dozen high-ranking officials who have resigned or retired from the VA following a national outcry over reports of patient deaths, widespread treatment delays and falsified records at VA facilities nationwide.
The outcry led to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation in late May.