Barack Obama`s Veterans Affairs Secretary resigns
US Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday amidst raging controversy over misconduct at veteran`s affairs facilities in the country.
Washington: US Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday amidst raging controversy over misconduct at veteran`s affairs facilities in the country.
The much anticipated resignation was announced by President Barack Obama at a hurriedly convened press conference, soon after he met Shinseki, wherein the latter tendered his resignation.
Earlier, Shinseki apologised for the misconduct and announced a series of measures to fix the issue.
"This morning I think some of you also heard Ric (Shinseki) take a truly remarkable action," Obama said.
"In public remarks, he took responsibility for the conduct of those facilities and apologised to his fellow veterans and to the American people. And a few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki offered me his own recognition. With considerable regret, I accept it," he said.
A Vietnam war veteran, Shinseki is Army four-star general.
"He`s a veteran who left a part of himself on the battlefield. He rose to command the 1st Cavalry Division, served as Army chief of staff, and has never been afraid to speak truth to power," Obama said.
Obama praised Shinseki`s efforts in running the Veterans Affairs and his commitment to veterans.
"His service to our country is exemplary. I am grateful for his service, as are many veterans across the country," he said.
"He has worked hard to investigate and identify the problems with access to care, but as he told me this morning, the VA needs new leadership to address them. He does not want to be a distraction, because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care that they need. That was Ric`s judgement on behalf of his fellow veterans. And I agree. We don`t have time for distractions; we need to fix the problem," Obama said.
The US President announced to appoint Sloan Gibson as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Obama said "there is a need for a change in culture" within the department.