Head of Cincinnati-area VA region retires amid investigation

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Two Department of Veterans Affairs officials in Ohio were disciplined Thursday in connection with an investigation of hospital management and veterans care.

Officials were investigating allegations that Dr. Barbara Temeck, chief of staff at the VA hospital in Cincinnati, had been improperly prescribing medications for the wife of Jack Hetrick, who headed the Cincinnati region of the VA. The network serves some 500,000 veterans in several states.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recommended removing Hetrick. He summarily announced his retirement. Temeck was suspended from her duties.

The VA Inspector General is looking to see if there may be something worth prosecuting in this case.

The federal agency said its findings are being referred for a possible federal criminal investigation.

The VA said a site visit didn't substantiate impropriety in the quality of care for veterans or in community care referrals, but found management misconduct.

“We are committed to sustainable accountability,” VA deputy secretary Sloan Gibson said. “We will continue to use VA’s statutory authority to hold employees accountable where warranted by the evidence. That is simply the right thing to do for Veterans and taxpayers.”

Messages seeking comment from Hetrick and the hospital were not immediately returned.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report.