Ms. Pedene is an award-winning public relations professional with 28 years of experience at the VA. She served honorably in the U.S. Navy as a broadcast journalist for over eleven years. At present, Ms. Pedene serves as a Senior Communications Specialist assigned to VA Central Office.
She made her first protected disclosures in 2010, revealing evidence of a hostile work environment and funds mismanagement. Those allegations were sustained by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG), but by 2012, VA leaders targeted her with several meritless retaliatory investigations, including criminal charges. Ms. Pedene stood and fought, while enduring loss of her position, title, and job duties. But, her reassignment to the basement for nearly two years became a blessing in disguise.
While banished to the basement, she learned of patient wait list falsification, excessive delays in patient care, false vesting of patients, failure to reassign patients after provider departures, and other inappropriate leadership decisions. She made these disclosures to several internal venues including the OIG and the Office of the Medical Inspector, but her complaints fell on deaf ears. Finally, in 2014, she collaborated with other whistleblowers, the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and the media to expose the Phoenix VA Wait Time Scandal.
Ms. Pedene later prevailed in a favorable settlement of her retaliation claims, but she
still faces unresolved threats to her livelihood, including a frivolous OIG law enforcement investigation, and a frivolous Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection administrative investigation. She has a pending retaliation complaint before OSC.