Congressman ‘gravely concerned’ after two Memphis VA employees allegedly attacked patient

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- WREG is uncovering startling allegations coming out of the Memphis VA.

Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe claimed two employees attacked a patient in early January but local leadership was not informed until three days later. He sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs saying he was "gravely concerned" about the allegations.

He said whistleblowers reported two VA employees have been accused of attacking a veteran in the Substance Abuse Residential Treatment Program.

“This gentleman was in our chemical dependency treatment facility so he has a problem and he’s reaching out for help,” said Sean Higgins, who works at the VA.

Higgins, a veteran himself, works at the VA and heard about the attack.

“I alerted the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee and I also alerted the Joint Commission,” he explained.

“Eyes swollen-- he was actually beaten,” said Randy Wade, with Soldier to Soldier.

Wade is a veteran’s rights activist and he’s enraged by the claims, but he’s pleased by the request for an investigation.

“Some heads need to roll,” said Wade.

Roe laid out a list of questions he wants answered including what is the status of the employees involved and if they are still interacting with patients.

When WREG asked a Memphis VA spokesperson about the allegations she said, “Privacy laws prohibit us from speaking to anything that is Veteran or staff-specific. However, you can be assured that in any case that should involve inappropriate treatment by a staff member to a Veteran, swift and appropriate action is taken.”

Congressman Roe said he wants his questions answered by the close of business February 3.