*(Via NBC News) – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid explosive charges of mismanagement, falsification of records and systemic problems at veterans health facilities.
President Barack Obama announced that he accepted Shinseki’s resignation “with considerable regret” after meeting with him on Friday morning. Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson will serve in the post temporarily until a permanent successor is announced, Obama said.
Calling Shinseki a “very good man” and a “champion of our veterans,” Obama said he accepted the resignation because the secretary believed his continued tenure had become a “distraction” from attempts to fix the department’s problems.
“In Ric’s judgment, [he felt] he could not carry out the next stages of reform without being a distraction himself,” Obama told reporters. “My assessment was, unfortunately, that he was right.”
The controversy about mismanagement at Veterans Affairs hospitals has been brewing since an April report that dozens of veterans on a “secret waiting list” in Phoenix, AZ, died while waiting for care. Intense political pressure against Shinseki reached a crescendo this week as prominent lawmakers from both sides of the aisle called for his ouster, including a steady stream of Republicans and many Democrats who are facing tough elections in the fall.
This story continues at NBC News.