US Deputy VA secretary fired after less than 5 months on the job
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Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Monday announced the abrupt firing of his No. 2 at the VA, James Byrne, after less than five months formally on the job.
“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties,” Wilkie said in a brief, cryptic statement posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. “This decision is effective immediately.”
Byrne was only confirmed in the Senate on Sept. 11 by an 81-11 vote. His departure continues a trend of leadership turmoil at President Donald Trump’s Department of Veterans Affairs. The president’s first VA Secretary, David Shulkin, was forced out after questions emerged about taxpayer-funded travels, and his pick to replace Shulkin, then-White House physician Ronny Jackson, withdrew from consideration amid reports of misconduct on the job.
Byrne himself served as acting deputy secretary for some time prior to his Senate confirmation after Shulkin’s deputy left in the wake of his firing. Prior to that, Byrne served as general counsel for the VA. Axios first reported his firing.
Before coming to the VA, Byrne was an executive at Lockheed Martin. He also served in the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and was a Marine infantry officer and international narcotics prosecutor at DOJ.
Knife-wielding man fatally shot by deputies at Orange County furniture store .
A man was fatally shot by Orange County deputies after he was hit by two cars and then ran into a furniture store and threatened employees with a knife, officials said. Officials with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to a La-Z-Boy furniture store on East Colonial Drive near Alafaya Trail around 6 p.m. Sign up for our Newsletters Deputies said a man who witnesses say intentionally ran into traffic and was hit by two cars had proceeded to run into the store and was threatening employees with a knife. Deputies said the man was asked to drop the knife but did not comply. Officials said he lunged or ran toward the deputies and they opened fire.
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