Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Erie Va Center Director Says He Did Not Mislead Congressman

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Erie Va Center Director Says He Did Not Mislead Congressman

Article excerpt

David Cord said Tuesday he expects to be the director of the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center for "a long time."

But U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, is continuing to push for the VA to reconsider the appointment of Mr. Cord, the former deputy director of the Pittsburgh VA who started his new job in Erie on Monday.

"From the Legionella outbreak to the hidden wait lists, the former leadership regime at the Pittsburgh VA failed to serve our veterans," Mr. Murphy said in an emailed statement, "and I am going to do whatever it takes to ensure Southwestern Pennsylvania veterans get the highest level care from an agency committed to the values of integrity, honesty, and service."

Mr. Murphy last week said Mr. Cord misled him during a phone conversation May 29, 2014, when he said Mr. Cord told him that the Pittsburgh VA did not have any veterans who were waiting for more than 30 days to see a doctor. He was later told that there was a wait list of nearly 700 veterans who had recently had their VA benefits approved and were waiting 30-plus days for their first appointment

He also noted that in a November 2012 email, Mr. Cord was said to have encouraged Pittsburgh VA officials to not say anything about a Legionnaires' outbreak that it had just confirmed.

Mr. Murphy had made both accusations before. But last week he made them to Sloan Gibson, the VA deputy secretary, during a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

He told Mr. Gibson that Mr. Cord's misleading conversation, and the 2012 email, made his appointment to the top spot in Erie "indefensible and incomprehensible."

Mr. Gibson told him he would look into the claim that Mr. Cord had misled the congressman.

Mr. Cord said Tuesday that he has yet to hear from Mr. Gibson or anyone in his office.

When the VA was asked Tuesday what has been done to follow up on Mr. …

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