VA confirms Overton Brooks medical director reassigned amid alle - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

VA confirms Overton Brooks medical director reassigned amid allegations of wrongdoing

Former Overton Brooks VA Medical Center Director Toby Mathew. (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) Former Overton Brooks VA Medical Center Director Toby Mathew. (Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

VA officials have confirmed that the director of the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport has been reassigned while allegations of wrongdoing are investigated. 

Officials with the South Central Veterans Affairs Health Care Network confirmed to KSLA Thursday that Toby Mathew has been reassigned to a non-supervisory position in the VA system while an internal investigation is conducted. 

According to a statement to KSLA from the VA Thursday night, 

There is nothing more important to VA than caring for the nation’s Veterans. That care includes protecting courageous employees who expose wrongdoing, investigating allegations of wrongdoing, and taking appropriate disciplinary action when an employee’s actions run counter to our expectations. In keeping with federal law, we promptly and thoroughly investigate all allegations of serious misconduct and, where such allegations are substantiated, observe all due process while we discharge our solemn duty to maintain the efficient and effective operation of the VA.

Upon receiving allegations of wrongdoing against the Overton Brooks VAMC Medical Center Director, and other senior leaders, the allegations were referred to VA’s Office of Accountability Review (OAR) for investigation as required by VA policy. Effective February 1, the Medical Center Director has been temporarily detailed to the VISN 16 office in Ridgeland, MS., where he will be working in non-supervisory capacity while OAR completes its investigation. Once completed, the evidence will be examined by the appropriate management officials delegated with the duty to take appropriate corrective action.

The statement also notes that move to reassign Mathew and conduct an internal investigation were actions taken at the behest of local officials and that "VA Senior Leadership is closely monitoring the situation."

Mathew was appointed Medical Center Director at Overton Brooks back in December 2014 after having served as the interim medical center director since June of that year.

The VA has not provided any detail regarding the nature of the allegations against Mathew or identified any of the other senior leaders referenced in the statement. they also have not clarified whether the allegations stem from a single incident or a broader or systemic issue. 

The VA says Overton Brooks VAMC Associate Director Zachary Sage will serve as Acting Medical Center Director of the hospital through February 5. After that, Richard Crockett, Deputy Medical Center Director at Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System in Little Rock, will assume the position of Interim Medical Center Director on February 6 until further notice.

VA officials report veterans will receive no interruptions in service during this transition.

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