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Mismanaged and disorganized: Denver7 speaks with a man who worked inside Aurora VA hospital

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-20 00:56:30-05

AURORA, Colo. -- The problems that have been reported about the troubled Aurora VA hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, according to one man who worked on the project as a construction worker. 

"Forty years of doing this type of work, this was by far the most mismanaged, disorganized new construction that I’ve ever seen," the master plumber, who did not want to be identified by name, told Denver7. 

He worked on the project for nine months during 2014, running water and gas lines at the site. Denver7 independently verified his employment on the project. 

"From what I understood there was - even when we were in that stage of construction -- there was not a complete, detailed, up-to-date set of blue prints for this entire project," he said.

When deciding when and where to put in medical gas lines, many of which serviced medical equipment, the plumber said crews didn't have the direction or information needed to do their jobs.

"Do we set the first piece ten inches off the wall? And we would add up the dimensions of the equipment that was there and it was more than the length of the wall," he claimed. 

When they would run into problems, he says the response became a bit of a running joke. 

"When we would run into something and didn't have an answer, a lot of the guys would turn around and in unison would say 'were working on that,'" he said.

This is just the latest of a string of new problems revealed at the Aurora VA, from a lack of outpatient rooms to a laundry list of re-dos that still need to be completed. 

Several VA higher-ups were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, answering to a congressional committee about the project. There, they did admit design flaws.

"Going forward we have learned much from this design that we would not replicate in any future designs," Stella Fiotes of the VA said during the meeting. 

Denver7 reached out to the local VA office regarding the claims made by this worker, but did not hear back. 

When asked why this plumber was so intent on coming forward and sharing his story, he responded, "I'm also a vet and when I see basically a billion dollars taken out of healthcare for vets it makes me angry."