Rep. Mike Coffman pressing for accountability over Aurora's troubled Veterans Hospital

Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 18, 2017

AURORA, Colo. -- U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is pressing the FBI for answers six months after the House Veterans' Affairs Committee called on the feds to launch a criminal investigation into the management of Aurora's troubled Veterans Affairs Hospital.

"As a construction project, I don't know in the history of our country one that is worse than this," Coffman said.

The hospital is years behind schedule and was originally estimated to cost $604 million dollars and be finished in 2013. The price has ballooned to nearly $1.7 billion.

In his letter to FBI Director James Comey, Coffman states: "These costs and scheduling failures come at the expense of the nation's taxpayers and our veterans...It is most troubling that Veteran Affairs witnesses testifying before HVAC may have intentionally withheld information or misled Congress regarding these overruns."

A past watchdog report by the internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showed VA leaders, including Glenn Haggstrom, the VA Construction Chief at that time, not only knew about the facility's ballooning price, but misled Congress about it.

"I think being on the VA Affairs Committee is extremely frustrating as a veteran in and of itself simply because of the kind of stonewalling, the difficulty in getting information from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Certainly I hope under the new secretary that things improve," Coffman said.

The Army Corps of Engineers has since taken over the project. The hospital still won't be fully open until sometime in 2018.

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