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State

Sen. Kirk wants probe of new VA hospital claims

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk wants an investigation into an Illinois veterans hospital to examine new allegations of delays in treatment and efforts by staff to cover them up.

Kirk has been pressing the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to expand a nationwide investigation to include the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in suburban Chicago and all veterans hospitals in Illinois. The claims of manipulation in appointment scheduling at Hines have come from a VA social worker and union representative, Germaine Clarno.

Hospital spokeswoman Charity Hardison would not respond to the specific allegations but said in an emailed statement that the hospital's director was taking the claims seriously and supports the investigation. The statement said if the allegations are true "employees will be held accountable."

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