VA's deputy secretary fired; report cites frustration over agency’s handling of sex assault investigation

James Byrne, then the VA's general counsel, at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing in May, 2019. STARS AND STRIPES
James Byrne, then the VA's general counsel, at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing in May, 2019. STARS AND STRIPES

VA's deputy secretary fired; report cites frustration over agency’s handling of sex assault investigation

by Steve Beynon
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — James Byrne, the deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, was fired Monday after holding the post for less than five months.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said he terminated Byrne due to a loss in confidence in him.

“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties,” Wilkie said in the statement. “This decision is effective immediately.”

Byrne, 55, is a former Marine infantry officer. He was sworn in Sept. 16 as deputy secretary and previously served as the department’s general counsel, leading the VA’s legal team, for about two years. Byrne was confirmed as deputy secretary by the Senate in a vote of 81-11. The VA has not yet named a deputy secretary to replace him.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.617416

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