Lassa Calls for Federal Investigation at King

Joins lawmakers to ask VA to look into allegations of neglect at veterans’ home


Madison – State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) joined other state lawmakers today to formally request a federal investigation into allegations of neglect and mismanagement at the State Veterans’ Home at King.


The letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs follows news reports of numerous incidents at the veterans’ facility that the lawmakers say “jeopardize the health and safety of residents at King.”


Lassa and fellow legislators cite “incidents of neglect, overmedication and erroneous prescription of medication, antiquated equipment and facilities, exposure to toxins, lack of control programs for certain infections, and consistent understaffing that contributes to poor patient care.”


Joining Lassa in signing the letter were Senate Democratic Leader Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville).


The lawmakers charge that the poor conditions at King were allowed to persist at the same time that the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs was diverting revenue from the veterans’ homes to administrative expenses and other budgetary uses, indicating “a pattern of mismanagement of the veterans’ home at King that is endangering the health and safety of its residents.”


Lassa indicated that she has been trying for more than a year to get the administration and the Legislature to investigate troubling charges she had heard from constituents regarding conditions at King. “I have been hearing from veterans and their families about the conditions at King, but my attempts to get the Walker administration and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to take action were met with denials and excuses,” she said.


“The veterans who have given so much for us deserve the best possible care,” Lassa said.  “This is not a partisan political issue, it’s an issue of mismanagement and neglect.  This is shameful, and our veterans and their families deserve better.”


# # #