Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said today that he will resign Oct 1 at the latest.
First thing's first - it’s doubtful that Nicholson’s resignation has anything to do with the department’s loss of a laptop that compromised the personal information of more than 26 million veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Nicholson was never in hotter water than earlier this year, when poor conditions for veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center and other VA hospitals – those being used to care for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan – came to light.
Most Americans aren’t as in tune as they should be with data security issue, but the Walter Reed debacle was a true embarrassment for the VA, irking people of all political stripes.
The spinmasters are hard at work nonetheless. The subheadline of the VA press release announcing Nicholson’s upcoming departure
reads, “Under his leadership, VA makes strides in health care and IT modernization.” Of course, it didn’t say why or what events led to those improvements.
Nicholson, who has served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and ambassador to the Holy See, said he wants to get back to business – although he wasn’t yet sure what kind – in the private sector.
“This coming February, I turn 70 years old, and I feel it is time for me to get back into business, while I still can,” Nicholson said in a statement, which added that he had no definite plans.