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Baldwin Removes Senior Staffer Amid VA Drug Questions

Federal Investigators Will Look Deeper Into Prescription Practices at Tomah Clinic


Sen. Tammy Baldwin has reportedly let one of her senior aides go as fallout continues from an investigation into prescription drug practices at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Tomah.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Monday that Baldwin’s Deputy State Director Marquette Baylor was ousted last week. The lawmaker’s office has come under criticism in recent days for not acting on a VA Office of Inspector General Report it received in August, which looked into high rates of opiate prescriptions at the facility.

Baldwin’s chief of staff declined to respond to the report, saying they “Don’t comment on personnel matters.”

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In a written statement, Baldwin turned the tables on the OIG, criticizing the agency for not being exactly forthcoming with an investigation into the Tomah VA last year. But she said she ultimately takes “responsibility for any mistakes that were made” in handling the report.

A federal review of medication practices began Monday at the Tomah VA. A team will be looking into whether powerful drugs were being over-prescribed and if employees faced retaliation for questioning their superiors at the facility.