CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R, W.Va.) is hoping new legislation proposed by her and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D, W.Va.) will bring more transparency to Veterans Affairs (VA) centers following the tragedies in Clarksburg.
The legislation rolled out would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit to Congress a report on the use of security cameras in VA medical centers.
Capito recently said at a press conference these are the first steps in receiving better data on the ‘comings and goings’ of the VA centers. She would like to see cameras in all hallways.
Former Clarksburg VA nursing assistant Reta Mays, 46, pleaded guilty last July to seven counts of murder along with another count of assault with attempt to murder in connection with the deaths of eight veterans who were given unprescribed doses of insulin.
“We couldn’t get good information. We were all frustrated,” Capito said. “We asked why haven’t we arrested someone for the murders of our veterans. It is so sorrowful it happened.”
Capito said if the VA Center in Clarksburg had cameras on each floor, suspicious activity could be investigated more rapidly and it could have potentially saved lives. She said it could have pinpointed the perpetrator sooner.
She said the biggest difference would have been to give families of the victims more relief and explanation of what happened.
It’s a bipartisian bill that features Manchin, Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)
“Veterans have sacrificed so much to protect America and her people. The very least we can do is ensure that when our Veterans return home, they receive the quality care they deserve from our VA facilities. Over the past two years, West Virginia’s Veterans have lost faith in the VA system due to the murders of at least seven Veterans at the Clarksburg VAMC,” Manchin said in a release in the past week.
“Senator Capito and I are introducing legislation that requires the VA to submit a report on the use of security cameras at VA facilities. Had there been security cameras in place at the Clarksburg VAMC, Veteran lives may have been saved.”
A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), and Carol Miler (R-W.Va.).