The former head of the Veterans Affairs office in Phoenix, who was fired in the wake of the VA wait-time scandal, could find an easier path back to her old job because of a decision by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Sharon Helman, who is suing the federal government to win her old job back, is arguing that a key portion of the reforms passed in the wake of the scandal is unconstitutional and denies her an important step to appeal her firing. Lynch alerted House Republican leaders Tuesday that the Justice Department will continue fighting against Helman’s reinstatement but is ceding that important argument to her.
“I note that the scope of this decision is narrow. Although the Department of Justice has decided not to defend (VA reform law) against the Appointments Clause challenge in this case, the department will continue to defend the vast bulk of the statute,” Lynch wrote in a letter House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Tuesday. The letter was obtained by CNN on Wednesday.
Helman’s attorney and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.