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Tomah VA supervisor accused of misconduct gets promoted

By   /   May 26, 2016  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 25 of 47 in the series Tomah VA Scandal

MADISON, Wis. – This is how it apparently works in the Veterans Affairs system: Whistleblowers who report waste, fraud and abuse are punished; supervisors accused of misconduct are promoted.

Lisa Noe, formerly Mental Health Chief for the scandal-plagued Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in March was named associate director for Geriatrics and Mental Health Services at the VA’s Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in Chicago.

“Congratulations Lisa. You have escaped accountability, got a transfer, and a promotion for your disservice to veterans and employees,” wrote Ryan Honl, who worked under Noe at Tomah as a mental health secretary.

Honl resigned that position in October 2014, claiming his was repeatedly retaliated against by his supervisors for blowing the whistle on a “culture of corruption” at the medical center. His complaints and testimony would help uncover one of the biggest scandals in the VA system, exposing a hospital staff dispensing lethal amounts of prescription drugs, a hospital led by a psychiatrist billed as the “Candy Man” for the way he reportedly handed out painkillers.

RELATED: Sources: Ron Kind received call from Jason Simcakoski not long before Marine’s death

Photo by Department of Veterans Affaris

LISA NOE – recently promoted in the VA system

In complaints sent directly to VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald and Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson, Honl alleged that Noe instructed him to falsify records. Honl said he was asked to mark staff psychiatrist Dr. Ronda Davis as on duty when Davis had failed to show up for work. Davis’ supervisor had urgently asked Honl to try to reach her on Sept. 16, 2014, that she was needed at the mental health center.

“… I followed up with (Noe) again, she said, ‘It’s OK. Just record it as a regular day (i.e. she was present for duty).’ I did as she instructed.”

After speaking with two co-workers, Honl said it was clear that he was “asked to falsify time and attendance in order to make it look like Dr. Davis had worked her entire shift.”

On another occasion, Honl said that he was instructed by another supervisor that it was acceptable to record that doctors had taken a mandatory educational class, even if they hadn’t, in order to “make the reports look good.”

“Lisa has quite a record having been at the epicenter of the scandal at the Tomah VA,” Honl wrote in an email to Wisconsin Watchdog. “She was my boss and asked me to falsify time and attendance records to record doctors as being present for duty when they were at home sitting on the couch. Lisa also retaliated against me. This is all substantiated in numerous investigatory documents.”

Noe could not be reached for comment Thursday at the VA hospital in Chicago.

Officials from the Veteran Affairs Public Affairs Office did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced that the panel will hold a field hearing in Tomah on Tuesday. He said the committee also will release a 300-page final report on the problems at the medical center.

Part of 47 in the series Tomah VA Scandal
  1. After damaging silence, Baldwin now calls for probe of troubled VA center
  2. Legal expert says U.S. Sen Tammy Baldwin is in full ‘damage control’
  3. Baldwin aide breaks silence, alleges senator engaged in ‘coverup’
  4. Baldwin’s public relations team kicks into high gear following ethics complaint
  5. Ethics watchdog urges Senate committee to investigate Baldwin
  6. Tammy Baldwin’s political fixer is helping Hillary attack voter ID
  7. Senate committee asking if FBI missed the call in veteran’s death at VA
  8. When lawmakers failed Wisconsin’s veterans
  9. Is political pressure behind Lin Ellinghuysen’s differing accounts on VA memo?
  10. Bernie Sanders failed to act in deadly VA scandal, whistleblower says
  11. Does government union chief’s threat show AFGE’s hand on veterans care?
  12. What would Russ Feingold’s 1992 self say to the 2015 version?
  13. Ad attacking Feingold asserts veterans died because of ‘politicians who looked the other way’
  14. Feingold’s campaign caught up in VA scandal memo war
  15. PolitiFact Wisconsin trusts Russ Feingold to deliver its facts
  16. Sources: Ron Kind received call from Jason Simcakoski not long before Marine’s tragic death
  17. Captain Campaign Finance Reform, Russ Feingold, changes ‘dark money’ tune
  18. Baldwin talks transparency while keeping her secrets in Tomah VA scandal
  19. Ron Kind knew about Tomah VA abuse years before the story broke
  20. Ron Kind now solving Tomah VA scandal one press release at a time
  21. Tammy Baldwin silent on her failures as she blasts Tomah VA medical center
  22. Tomah VA whistleblower says he’s getting pressure from unhappy Dems
  23. Feingold’s facts fail again in face of Tomah scandal
  24. Senate field hearing to shine more light on Tomah VA scandal
  25. Tomah VA supervisor accused of misconduct gets promoted
  26. Senate hearing to look deeper into scandal-plagued Tomah VA hospital
  27. Kind flees questions, Senate committee turns up heat on Tomah VA hospital scandal
  28. Report: Tomah VA hospital story is one of ‘systemic failures’
  29. Tomah VA hospital whistleblower: ‘It will not change’
  30. Ron Kind breaks silence on call from veteran victim at Tomah VA hospital
  31. VA union holds rally to save itself, Tomah whistleblower says
  32. Sound familiar? Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth accused of retaliation at VA
  33. Emails say Tomah VA patient reached out to Feingold, Kind, in 2008 about abuse
  34. Johnson: Hold accountable those who put Tomah veterans at risk of HIV, hepatitis
  35. Veteran jumps out of third-floor window at Tomah VA hospital
  36. Tomah VA employee: ‘We have forgotten who we work for’
  37. Congressional committees want answers on Tomah VA hospital
  38. Senators ask Pence, Trump transition team, to hold troubled VA accountable
  39. Veterans advocate: VA hospitals’ ‘improvement’ doesn’t tell whole story
  40. Tomah VA Medical Center’s ‘Candy Man’ stripped of license
  41. Opinions differ on whether it’s ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ at Tomah VA
  42. Latest data show Tomah VA hospital improving in opioid prescriptions, veteran satisfaction
  43. VA secretary nominee faces little resistance, lots of challenges
  44. Insiders: Tomah VA troubles continue with nurse shortage, neglectful care
  45. VA whistleblower has questions for Congressman Ron Kind
  46. Johnson brings back whistleblower protection bill as Sunshine Week opens
  47. Iraq war veteran burned by ‘very frustrating process’ at VA


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.