In 2014, James Talton was the first employee terminated by the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) for neglect of duty following a law that that helped speed up the process of removing top VA executives for poor performance or misconduct.
On Friday, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) confirmed he’s hired by the department and named the new Public Health Administrative Officer. WFSA 12 News reports according to the Alabama State Personnel Department, Talton’s salary with ADPH is $86,390.40.
Talton’s firing from the CAVHCS came amid numerous allegations of rampant abuse and mismanagement at a VA health care facility in Phoenix, Arizona. At the time, Alabama 2nd District Rep. Martha Roby said the Phoenix revelations, particularly the scheduling fraud, “sounded familiar” compared to the many complaints she received from veteran constituents.
By June, it was reported that CAVHCS employees had engaged in particularly egregious scheduling manipulation. And, even with the artificially inflated numbers, CAVHCS had some of the longest wait times for veterans patients in the country.
“Numerous instances of misconduct, negligence and cover-up within the Central Alabama VA led to our system becoming one of the nation’s worst,” Roby said in 2014.
Ultimately Roby and her staff began digging deeper to find out what was really happening inside CAVHCS, which ultimately led to Talton being placed on administration leave in August while the administrative and clinical practices of CAVHCS were being investigated.
In October, Talton was fired.
Roby deemed it “a necessary and important step toward instilling accountability at the VA and building trust within the veteran community.”