Exclusive: Inside Trump's new VA office, early moves to help whistleblowers draw praise

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Dan Martin is chief engineer for Veterans Affairs hospitals in northern Indiana, but he hasn’t done much engineering for almost a year — or much of anything for that matter.

After he reported concerns about possible contracting improprieties at the hospitals, managers stripped him of his duties last March, alleging he had been mean and used inappropriate language with his employees. They isolated him in an out-of the-way office in Marion, Ind., his lawyers say, and in December, moved to fire him.  

Such stories have been legendary for years at the VA, but since President Trump created a whistleblower-protection office at the agency by executive order in April, the office has stepped in to help Martin and more than 70 other VA employees by delaying discipline against them until further investigation can be conducted.

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