Watchdog group defies US subpoena to identify whistleblowers complaining about poor VA care

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A private watchdog organization investigating problems in the Veterans Affairs Department is defying a federal subpoena to turn over to the Obama administration materials it received from federal whistleblowers.

The subpoena ordered the Project on Government Oversight to surrender material from federal employees or others who submitted complaints to the group about the veterans department. Spokesman Joe Newman said the group deliberately ignored the order by the VA's inspector general to turn over the documents by 10 a.m. Friday.

The counselor to the inspector general, Maureen Regan, told The Associated Press the group would be given until the end of the business day before the government decided how or whether to respond. That could include seeking court sanctions against POGO, negotiating for the records or dropping the matter entirely.