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Inspectors review documents dumped at VA clinic

Mar. 3, 2007 - 08:35AM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 3, 2007 - 08:35AM  |  
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LAS VEGAS — Federal inspectors are reviewing a whistleblower's report about unshredded files found in the trash behind a veterans health clinic in Las Vegas last month, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said.

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LAS VEGAS — Federal inspectors are reviewing a whistleblower's report about unshredded files found in the trash behind a veterans health clinic in Las Vegas last month, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said.

"We are now investigating that case, and the IG is out there," Nicholson said Thursday, referring to the VA's inspector general.

Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., requested the review after a security guard from the West Clinic in Las Vegas came forward with a sample of discarded records the guard said he found Feb. 6 in trash bins behind the building.

The guard, Andrew Martin-Smith, said the documents appeared to be federal employment applications with names, addresses, Social Security numbers and individuals' military service records.

"I recognized the names of current VA employees, heads of departments," Martin-Smith told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Porter said his concerns were underscored by recent VA security lapses.

In May 2006, a computer laptop and hard drive containing data on up to 26.5 million veterans were stolen from the home of a VA employee in Maryland. The items later were recovered.

Three months later, another computer containing veterans' personal information disappeared from the Virginia office of a VA subcontractor.

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