Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie has announced the firing of his No. 2, VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne, saying it was due to a “loss of confidence” in Byrne but not going into anymore detail in the brief statement.
“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties,” the Feb. 3 statement reads. “This decision is effective immediately.”
Byrne had only been in the job for five months. The Senate confirmed him by an 81-11 vote on Sept. 11.
Wilkie himself had two predecessors, David Shulkin and Ronny Jackson, who had controversies. Shulkin was forced out over questions about taxpayer-funded travels while Jackson withdrew from consideration over reports of misconduct, according to Politico.
Byrne, a former Lockheed Martin executive, was the general counsel for the VA before becoming acting deputy secretary.