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Federal court overturns firing of ex-director of Phoenix VA following wait time scandal

(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)

PHOENIX — A federal court has overturned the firing of the former director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

In a 34-page ruling, the Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit remanded Sharon Helman’s case to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board for review and “appropriate action.”

Helman was fired in November 2014 following a scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and secret lists covering up the delays.

She sued the VA to win back her job, arguing that a key portion of a law passed in response to the wait-time scandal is unconstitutional and denies her an important step to appeal her firing.

The court ruled that after an administrative judge upheld Helman’s firing, she should’ve been allowed to appeal that ruling to the MSPB.

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