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State

Kirk again calls for removal of VA hospital director

BERWYN – Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk continues to call for the removal of upper management at Hines VA Hospital outside Chicago.

Kirk met Friday with Hines director Joan Ricard, whose removal he has repeatedly recommended. He said he suggested to her that she "get a criminal lawyer" for the FBI investigation he is going to recommend. Ricard didn't publically comment.

Kirk calls Ricard a "civil servant with an attitude," adding that in the Navy she "would have been immediately relieved of command."

The Republican senator also met with hospital whistleblowers, including Cermaine Clarno, president of the union representing hospital workers. Clarno said the hospital is plagued by mold caused by water leakage.

Hospital spokeswoman Carity Hudson says efforts to end the leaks have been made and "mold is no longer present."

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