SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Sunday, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke announced that deputy commissioner Doug Hughes and Hastings Veterans Home administrator Mike Anderson are no longer employed by the department. The announcement follows reports of years of a hostile work environment which jeopardized the care provided to veterans at the Hastings facility.
Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), chair of the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee, announced that the committee would hold an informational hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to take testimony and ask questions of Commissioner Herke, veterans home staff, and others.
In response to the announcement, Senator Murphy released the following statement:
“I am grateful to see the MDVA acting to address the unacceptable conditions for veterans and their caregivers in Hastings. Our committee and our caucus take seriously the allegations of mismanagement, retaliation, and staff turnover, and its impact on the care and the lives of our treasured veterans.
This is a much needed step. But we have more work to do in order to achieve the high quality of care and the quality of life Minnesotans rightly expect for our veterans. I look forward to the opportunity to hear from Commissioner Herke on how the department plans to move forward. We will continue to invite the input of veterans, their families, providers, and staff. I will work this session to insure that our veterans homes are adequately funded, staffed, and supported.”