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Monday, May 30, 2011

SERIAL DISRESPECT AND CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS AT THE DAYTON VA MEDICAL CENTER

DARRELL HAMPTON    
May 31, 2011


Eric Shinseki, Secretary Veterans Affairs

Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

In 2004, the Director of the Dayton VA, Dr. Stephen Cohen, when I introduced myself to him, after I had filed multiple charges against Carolyn Solomon, an employee in the Mental Health Care Line (MHCL) ran from me into the Medical Center while hollering over his shoulder “I’ve got a meeting to attend and I am late”. Then VSN 10 assigned Linda Smith as the acting Director. She told me, to my face, “Mr. Hampton, I have only one problem with your dissatisfaction: “If you have so many complaints about how you have been treated here, why do you even come her for treatment? If I were you, I would never set foot on this property again as long as I lived”……She, Linda Smith, was later promoted to the Director of the Cincinnati VA. Then Guy B. Richardson was appointed and he told me “I will never rectify your concerns”. After I was selected as the most qualified applicant for a position on the center and forwarded to him for a second interview, he violated protocol and gave the positions to a young attractive black female (I’m black too) and told me “Mr. Hampton, you look a lot different from the last time I saw you…The last time I saw you, you were all suited up” and he burst out laughing in my face. He was making fun of the fact that during the interview for the job I had on a suit and I was now dressed in less formal wear. After the Dental clinic expose, all hell broke out and the Dayton VA was headlining every national news station in America Guy Richardson was removed. His replacement was a man by the name of William Montague. I requested a meeting with him. During this meeting he told me, three times, The reason you will never get a job on this center, even though you are an Honorably Discharged Veteran is because, “You kicked dirt on the umpire” meaning I was being penalized and punished for reporting the Dental Clinic to Your office, the US Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the local media. These are all exact quotes!

I don’t know where or who taught these people the definition of “Public Servant” but whoever it was has lead them astray. The American people pay these people good money to manage these Medical Centers for “Their” Veterans. They have allowed their positions to go to their heads and morphed into the position of a Czar or someone who has no accountability to anyone. They act as if the federal Government has placed these properties in their personal name and they “own” them. They are headstrong, arrogant, unworthy and ungrateful of the positions they hold. Maybe a remedial class on the definition of “Public Servant” would help them but I seriously doubt it. They are too far gone for redemption!

I might add, it appears the VSN 10 Chief, Jack Hetrick, approves of and supports their blatant patient abuse of America’s Honorably Discharged Veterans. He has yet to do anything other than cover up and minimize their behavior while attempting to find reasons “why” they have acted in the way that they have! No matter how many “substantiated” charges I bring against his staff, from executive employees caught having sex on the Medical Center to proven charges of HYPAA violations to documented cases of blatant lying under oath, I am yet to hear even an apology or any word from his desk.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

DAYTON VA VIOLATES CONSTITUTION-DENYING BENEFITS

DARRELL HAMPTON

May 30, 2011

Eric Shinseki, Secretary Veterans Affairs

Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Over the past months I have written you concerning my perception of VA executives violating and mistreating America’s Honorably Discharged Veterans at the Dayton VA Medical Center. The allegations of discrimination in hiring, the lack of will to help Veterans secure employment through the Veteran’s Industry Department and the horrible service within the Mental Health Care Line continue and they can no longer wait for process to take it’s time. We are desperate. With Veterans depressed from poverty and seeing no way to a recovery from psychological injury, some self imposed and some from service to country, I am no longer willing to exercise patience. While there has been miniscule movement towards repairing these ills I do not see enough progress to begin to equal the offenses I have eye-witnessed. A Vocational Rehabilitation Department unwilling to put forth the smallest effort has broken the back of our imperturbability and I report that I see no qualitative redemption in sight, Sir.

After my latest meeting with the Acting Director, Bill Montague, where he informed me that I would never be employed here as a result of my contacting your office as well as multiple other stations of power, I do not foresee a way forward without a change in strategy. While I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, late but sure, his sports metaphors have now been clearly understood. He told me “you kicked dirt on the umpire” meaning I am being penalized and thrown out of the game. With “the game” being gainful employment or the ability to contribute or be of service on the center and helping Veterans recover. I find his call illegal retaliation and retribution and I absolutely intend to respond as if a crime has been committed against my person.

While “the process” has been enduring, Veterans are suffering and some have even died waiting while I promised them we would achieve victory. I gave my word and for some, I have failed.

Throughout my experiences, even when Veterans have volunteered to stand with me I have insisted that they not become involved or risk their security, seeking to shield them from the retaliation and retribution I knew would surely follow such action. I no longer hold that opinion.

Therefore I am proposing the following:

During the Month of June 2011, I will began to utilize my experienced and exceptional organizing sales skills to group Veterans into a formidable protest against this Center. I will organize this protest outside of the Dayton VA where I will forward my concerns to the Main Stream Media in hopes of gaining the necessary public support to right these wrongs. If I fail I am prepared to take this show on the road. After a sustained protest here I will began to move this peaceful assembly to Washington DC, outside of Congress, where I have long standing contacts, a history for veracity and have also garnered a semblance of reputation and support for my concerns.

This can be avoided with sincere communication and an immediate change of direction within the Veterans Industry Department and a righting of my being wrongly denied a position on the center. After a thorough review of the management philosophy of Bill Montague and the documented manner in which he “privatized” the Vocational Rehabilitation Department in Cleveland via turning it over to Volunteers of America (VOA), we stand to lose far too much. In fact, even here at the Dayton VA, VOA has not accomplished very much. Other than when you came to cut the ribbon on the Homeless facility I have witnessed no progress. I do not believe President Obama’s intention was to over-medicate and warehouse America’s Honorably Discharged Veterans. Personally, I think the President’s vision had a bit more rehabilitative and sustainable restoration with a future towards a substantial renewal as his goal. That is certainly not happening here.

The current Service Chief of the Mental Health Care Line, Dr. Victor Knapp, received a letter from me on February 8, 2010 that he has yet to respond to or even acknowledge was ever written to him. My best guess is he that he arrogantly feels that though the American people pay him to provide a service, his duties do not include seeing Veterans as significant enough to answer their letters and his responsibilities do not mandate a response to Veteran’s concerns. Sadly, I do not see the will nor even the hint of a way forward on these troubling issues. While they invest time analyzing me, concluding that I am intellectually insecure needing to be reassured that I have a brain, I am moving forward with the mission at hand. I have not the will nor time for self-serving obfuscation on these important issues or their foolishness in attempting to divert attention away from the truth that their policies portend suffering. Even a vaguely prescient person can see the end of their plans. While they are obsessed that I will receive some puerile vicarious catharsis from watching them finally do their jobs it is ultimately the look on the face of a Veteran who has a job that is my goal, which is priceless for me. Our local numbers of unemployed Veterans are escalating, our mental health is deteriorating, our depression is dominating and we need jobs! Work creates pride, a reason to continue living and has been scientifically proven to exponentially lower the current rates of Veteran suicides. My sole interest is that Veterans redeem their lives and I will not allow the myself luxury of indulging their vainglorious hypothetical of my motives. In spite of their speculations I am a serious man and saving the lives of Veterans is my sole concern. Like you, I am all in and I fully intend to serve America and complete this mission sir.

In my humble opinion the Dayton VA, by refusing to honor these rehabilitative services, is violating Veterans’ constitutional rights by denying these guaranteed benefits which are our property by virtue of our having Honorably served. The Fifth Amendment of our Constitution is a guarantee of freedom from unjustified governmental deprivation of this property. Unless you agree with this plan to deny and/or privatize Veterans benefits, no meaningful vocational services or with Guy Richardson and Bill Montague committing acts of retaliation and retribution against Veterans, I anticipate hearing from you, Sir. If not, I do understand and I will continue to respect, and honor your love for this country and your self sacrificing service to this nation. I will also continue my plan for the month of June ‘suit up” and embark on a determined long summer.

My Very Best regards.

Darrell Hampton

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CURRENTLY EMPLOYED AT THE DAYTON VA MEDICAL CENTER

At the Dayton VA Medical Center we currently have as employees: Two executives who were caught engaged in a sex act on VA grounds, during work hours: One executive who was arrested, charged and convicted for soliciting paid sex acts from an undercover Dayton police officer: One employee who stinks so bad he has been transferred to 2nd shift to keep him away from the patients during the day: Another employed who has been arrested on multiple occasions for soliciting prostitution: One employee who is listed on the State of Ohio Sex Offenders web site as a child molester: Several employees who knew and watched, for 18 years, as a dentist practiced dentistry while exposing Veterans to potential blood born pathogens: a former Director, still receiving his paycheck from the Dayton VA who was described by the Secretary of VA affairs as “a failure of leadership”!

Yet, Darrell Hampton, an Honorably Discharged Veteran cannot get a job at the VA because he had the nerve to notify the appropriate authorities on these matters.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

UNAMERICAN ACTIVITY AT DAYTON VA MEDICAL CENTER

DARRELL HAMPTON

Eric Shinseki, Secretary Veterans Affairs                                     May 21, 2011

Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Sir, I don’t believe you realize exactly what is going on here and I feel, as a Veteran to another Veteran I should tell you

THE UN-AMERICAN TREATMENT OF VETS AT THE DAYTON VA CENTER

As an Honorably Discharged Veteran I never cease to be amazed at the rank arrogance of those who are in positions of authority within the VA. The literal contemptuous manner in which they proudly deny a Veteran’s request is breathtaking. One employee told me there was no way I could avoid having to pay $300.00 to have a single tooth pulled. When I asked who made the final decision he replied “I DO”. When I informed him that I thought the President of the United States was still in charge of this government, he replied “Well, go write him then”! It’s as if they have been in position so long, sharing power, passing it back and forth between each other that the mission, Veteran Care, has been relegated to a complete “nuisance”. Oh, they know all the right words to say to the media “We will continue to provide the best medical care for our Veterans” but they don’t mean a damn word of it! As soon as the cameras are turned off and the reporter has vacated the premises, it is back to the normal treatment. Yet, the media eats this up hook line and sinker. It is truly “Something” to witness. Trying to explain the real pain caused by their callous decisions to them is a total waste of time: They cannot relate and have no earthly idea “what the hell you are talking about”. It is difficult to get a person to understand your position when their paycheck is contingent on them remaining confused.

As of today, I have met with three Medical Center Directors: Linda Smith, who was acting Director back in 2004, who told me “Mr. Hampton I have one question about your complaints. If you find being here so uncomfortable, why do you even come here? If I were you I would never step foot on this property again as long as I live”. That is a direct quote, I have added nothing. Her pompous arrogance was suffocating and seizure producing, I almost fainted from pure trauma and emotional shock.

Guy Richardson, who I’ve met with on numerous occasions was worse. Not only did he tell me he was not ever going to do anything to correct how I had been treated, he compared my personality to that of a rabid wild dog and told me that if I were a “friendlier mongrel“ just maybe people would “pat me on the head” and I’d have more success on the VA center. Incredible arrogant disrespect and logic!

Now, the new acting Director, Bill Montague has told me “You kicked dirt on the umpire”, meaning I am being penalized and thrown out of the game, never to be given a job in the VA system.

If it is not, in fact, retaliation and retribution, I argue, then they all have demonstrated rank incompetence!

Two common denominators of all of these Directors is that NOT ONE of them has ever served this nation in uniform and all of them live better off Veterans Benefits than any Veteran I have ever met. At times, being in their presence is like a punishing sentence to a “eternal hell of arrogance”. Their haughty, supercilious personalities are difficult to detail. You could literally tell them “Well sir, my wife and children were just murdered this morning” and their response would be “What does that have to do with me”! No matter what request I have made for services plainly laid out in Title 38 legislation that controls the VA system their response is unanimous “It’s not in the budget”. Yet, they continue to reward each other with huge salary increases and massive bonuses annually. Even after documented inferior performances they readily give each other the most glowing job reviews imaginable. How else could Dr. Masaros write that “Dr. Pemberton was a valued member of our team” unless Dr. Masaros was simply protecting a member of “our team”. How else could Guy Richardson receive such a generous bonus “After” the dental Clinic had been shut down for infectious control violations and the Human Resources Department had basically been accused of being a “baby mafia” in the way they were selecting who would get a job at this tax payer financed facility? They pick and choose each other’s friends, their friend’s children, cousins, uncles and aunts for jobs over and above more qualified applicants. Veteran’s status and points means nothing to them! In fact, in December 2010 at least 4 employees, including the Chief and asst. Chief were herded off VA grounds all at the exact same time. Of course, the story was that they “all” decided to leave at the same time. Coincidence? I don’t think so, it’s more like “organized crime and corruption”! Mr. Montague insists that all of the current problems, with the Dental Clinic, were the result of the actions of “ONE MAN” and that we should move on. I disagree. The dental Clinic debacle was the results of a mindset that allowed this one man to practice in this manner and no one in the “Club” would stop him. It is a mindset at this center that says “he’s only hurting Veterans and as long as it doesn’t affect any members of the “club” I don’t care. The “failure of leadership” you described to the US Senate did not exist in a vacuum, neither did it start with the Dental Clinic. It has existed for years and it permeates this entire medical center. They all cover for each other and they all know about it.

Who is deciding who should receive all of this money and get all these jobs while Veterans are denied services and even a fair shot at being employed at their own facility? I’ll tell you: another trusted member of the “Team”! These people actually believe that Americans provide tax dollars for no other reason than for them to sit in their offices and split these dollars up amongst themselves. They have been “dividing” these dollars up for such a long time they think it’s normal operating procedure. Veterans have become a necessary inconvenience on their road to financial independence and they have to put up with us for a minute while they cart off wheelbarrows full of money every year and advocate for lower taxes so they can keep even more of their ill-gotten gains. Amazingly, they see nothing immoral in their behavior.

Were I not an eyewitness this behavior I would not believe it myself.

It is past time for this method of operation to be stopped!

Sincerely Yours,

Darrell Hampton



 





Friday, May 13, 2011

ANOTHER POST ABOUT NEW DAYTON VA DIRECTOR

The problem I have with the way VA executives conduct themselves is that they have lost sight of their mission. Instead of seeing the Veterans as the customer the American people are paying them to provide a service for they are so busy pocketing up every single dollar they can get their hands on Veterans have become a lower priority. It’s as if we are a necessary tolerance interrupting their way to wealth. AND…that’s exactly how I feel!

It is Un-American to conclude that if a Veteran has brought substantiated charges (Not empty mentally challenged accusations) He is adjudicated as having “kicked dirt on the umpire” and therefore barred from any chance of employment with this Federal Agency. That is NOT how this country was founded nor is it how it is expected to be run. The very least we can expect, as Americans, is that those trusted with authority do not violate our laws nor will they engage in blatant “Retaliation and Retribution” against another citizen.

The new Acting Director of the Dayton VA, Bill Montague, has been employed with the VA, making close to $200,00.00 a year for quite a long time. His wife, Vicky Montague, has been employed by the VA also, technically for VSN 10 but assigned to Bill’s medical center, also making close to $200.000.00 per year for quite a few years.

Even after being rewarded with such a fabulous lifestyle he had the unmitigated gall to tell me, an Honorably Discharged Veteran, that my having the guts to challenge wrongdoing has cost me employment with this agency. I find that conclusion wholly unacceptable!

NEW DAYTON VA ACTING DIRECTOR

I met with the Acting Director of the Dayton VA, Bill Montague on May 2, 2011 where we discussed a plethora of subjects. My main concern was my inability to secure a full-time position with the Dayton VA. It has been my contention that I was being blackballed because I have forwarded charges of Patient Abuse as well as violations of HIPAA and discrimination in hiring. All of my charges have been substantiated with the exception of the hiring discrimination which has not concluded the investigation. According to multiple legal experts, this too, should end in a affirmation of my charges. In fact the documented history of the Human Resources Department here would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Mr. Montague seemed like a reasonably pleasant person in addressing my concerns with one exception: He told me that I had “kicked dirt on the Umpire”. Now, as a person who has never watched a football, baseball or basketball game in my life this statement went over my head. People who use sports metaphors assume everybody watches sports and understand what they are talking about but they are often mistaken. I had no earthly idea what he meant by this term. Because of my ignorance I simply went on to plead my case and explain my reasoning as to why I felt I had as much right, as an American and a Veteran to be employed here as anybody else. He repeated this statement at least three times during our meeting, the final time was as he shook my hand ending this meeting.

Since that meeting I have embarked on a mission to find the exact meaning of this term because it bothered me that he used it repeatedly. First, I spoke with people in the Cleveland area who have known Mr. Montague for years. They informed me that he often uses sports metaphors to express his points. These people have also known me for years and thought it was hilarious because they also know how literally ignorant I am of sports. I then asked several other people, especially my brothers, who are sports fanatics, in my opinion, for their definition of what exactly he was communicating to me. The consensus was that he was telling me that I was being penalized and thrown out of the game. The game being employment at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Now, I am offended and extremely angry! The fact that he kept a very pleasant smile on his face while telling me I was being kicked out of the game has only intensified my feelings of being flagrantly affronted.

As one who believes deeply in the laws of our country and the rights enjoyed from being an American citizen as well as a recipient of Veterans benefits, paid for by the American people, I don’t think it was appropriate for him to make that decision. In fact, my reading of Title 38 legislation, with the American people paying for this facility to provide services for me, that makes me the “UMPIRE” and he has “kicked dirt on me“! I also think he has confused his position as the Medical Center Director of a tax payer funded facility with the position of Russian Czar ruling over a piece of land.

He is reminding me an awful lot of his predecessor, Guy B. Richardson whose actions VA Secretary Shinseki described as a “failure of leadership“.

For him to make such a decision is inappropriate and to have the gall to verbalize it is blatant “retaliation and retribution” which borders on criminal conduct.


When sophisticated high ranking government people begin to adopt the methods of criminals, I have no choice but to treat them as such. When this type of action is directed at me I respond in kind. I consider the use of tough tactics in these circumstances as not being heavy-handed; on the contrary, it is being even-handed.

On another note, Guy Richardson is at the Dayton VA regularly. For a person who was supposedly “Removed” for failing to lead, I certainly cannot tell it from his presence.

I wish I could say we were just about finished, but sadly we are not.

 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

VETERANS SPEAKING FOR VETERANS

An interesting story in the Washington Post this morning.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-va-a-blogger-criticizes-from-the-inside/2011/04/20/AF96tAdG_story_1.html

As the Veteran who was behind the notification to the US Senate concerning the dental clinic malfeasance at the Dayton Ohio VA I can attest to the hard job it is to “accurately” portray what is going on. Because of the hundreds of dedicated and really good employees I have wrestled with making sure that I not disparage their hard work while condemning the guilty and protecting myself from becoming a malcontent. It’s certainly a tightrope to walk. I think we need more independent voices and I also believe more Veterans should be employed within the VA’s structure. Unfortunately, as long as the “powers that be” insist on blackballing, from employment, anyone who disagrees with them I don’t see that possibility anytime in the near future. Personally, I have approximately 12 rejection letters from the Dayton VA on applications for employment. They all say “Qualified but not Accepted”. For me to think this is NOT personal is an insult.