Paula Pedene (pictured) was chief spokeswoman for the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital until she blew the whistle on the hospital’s director.
Pedene, 56, is the former chief spokeswoman for this VA hospital. Now, she is living in a bureaucrat’s urban legend.
After complaining to higher-ups about mismanagement at this hospital, she has been reassigned — indefinitely — to a desk in the basement.
In the past, whistleblowers have had their desks moved to break rooms, broom closets and basements. It’s a clever punishment, good-government activists say, that exploits a gray area in the law.
At the time she was banished to the basement Paula Pedene was a 20-year employee at the hospital who oversaw everything from news releases to the hospital newsletter to the annual Veterans Day parade.
In 2010, Pedene joined a group that complained to VA’s upper management about the Phoenix hospital’s director. They alleged that the director had allowed budget shortfalls and berated subordinates.
And it seemed to work. VA’s inspector general investigated and found an $11 million shortfall in the hospital’s budget. The director retired voluntarily.
Pedine thought the group had done the right thing.
Apparently whistleblowing isn’t tolerated in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital even if it is justified.