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VA’s top health care official resigns

WASHINGTON — The top official for veterans' health care resigned Friday amid a firestorm over reported delays in care and falsified records at veterans hospitals.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says he has accepted the resignation of Robert Petzel, the department's undersecretary for health care.

Shinseki had asked for the resignation, a department official later said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution.

Representative Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, mocked the announcement, calling it ''the pinnacle of disingenuous political doublespeak'' since Petzel had been scheduled to retire this year anyway.

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The American Legion, which has called for Shinseki to resign, said pretty much the same thing: ''This move by VA is not a corrective action, but a continuation of business as usual.''

The announcement came a day after both men were grilled at a four-hour hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, where lawmakers and veteran groups expressed exasperation of longstanding problems at the department.

Associated PressASSOCIATED PRESS