Federal VA investigating Huntsville veterans home over abuse, mistreatment allegations

Federal VA investigating Huntsville veterans home over abuse, mistreatment allegations

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Floyd E. “Tut” Fann Veterans Home in Huntsville is facing a second investigation.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed Wednesday it was on-site performing an unannounced, full audit.

The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed Monday it was also performing a survey at the home.

The investigations come after multiple WAFF 48 News reports that outlined allegations of physical abuse and mistreatment.

WAFF 48′s sources include a current veteran at the home, a current employee, two former employees, and two former family members of veterans.

HERE ARE ALL PREVIOUS STORIES:

[ State to investigate alleged mistreatment at Huntsville VA retirement home ]

[ Current employee and family of veterans allege physical abuse, retaliation at Huntsville veterans home ]

ADPH State Program Director Mia Sadler declined to comment on the rationale behind the state investigation, but Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Kent Davis did request an ADPH investigation in the aftermath of WAFF’s reports.

A resident also told WAFF that state inspectors were asking about physical abuse on Monday.

Federal VA spokesman Jeff Hester said the federal investigation is in direct response to WAFF’s reports, and will not be replacing the facility’s annual audit.

Hester said the federal inspectors will be looking at both “administrative and clinical audits" which includes everything from financial paperwork to the dietary offerings at the home.

Multiple sources at the home tell WAFF the federal inspectors met with veterans in a group setting Wednesday.

Hester said the inspectors will be interviewing one on one with veterans, staff and family members.

He said the majority of audits take three days, but it could go longer depending on what is discovered.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs owns the home and declined to comment on the federal investigation.

The ADPH also declined to comment on the Federal VA’s presence.

HMR Veterans Services Inc. runs the day to day operations of the home, and has not yet sent a statement to WAFF 48 News.

In March, Senator Doug Jones requested an investigation from the United States Federal VA Inspector General.

It’s unclear what, if any, role that office is playing in the investigation.

However, Hester did cite Senator Jones’ request as part of the reason the department is investigating.

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