Tuesday, June 10, 2014 | 11:37 a.m.
WASHINGTON — In anticipation of a damning report expected to be released today on Veterans Affairs management in Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller called for the resignation of the head of the agency in Reno.
“Enough is enough,” the Republican senator from Nevada said in a press release.
Heller said Ed Russell, the head of the Reno VA Regional Office, should step down after an official VA Inspector General report expected to be released Tuesday found the office is suffering from “poor management.”
“The Reno [VA office] has consistently topped the charts as one of the worst-performing regional offices in the nation,” Heller said.
The Reno VA office handles all of Nevada’s disability claims, and veterans often wait more than a year to have their claims processed. Nevada’s congressional delegation has been pushing for changes to the office for at least a year.
Heller has worked specifically on legislation to reduce claims backlogs in regional VA offices such as Reno’s. He’s trying to include the bill in legislation circulating in the Senate aimed at reducing overall mismanagement within the VA health care system, but last week a Senate hearing on his legislation was cancelled.
Heller has also expressed frustration with Southern Nevada’s VA system, saying in an interview Tuesday that “this has gone beyond growing pains.”
He spoke with Southern Nevada’s VA chief, Isabel Duff, on Monday about whether the Las Vegas region’s VA system also has systemic management problems.