Ex-head of Tomah VA allowed to resign, given $163K settlement

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Tomah VA Medical Center

TOMAH — The former head of the Tomah VA Medical Center was allowed to resign and given a settlement after allegations that painkillers were being overprescribed to patients.

Mario DeSanctis was fired from the hospital in 2015. But a USA Today investigation found he fought his dismissal and reached a deal in which he was allowed to resign. He and his attorney were paid $163,000.

The Tomah VA hospital was rocked in January 2015 by reports of inappropriate dosages of narcotic pain killers and retaliation against employees who questioned the practice.

DeSanctis did not return a phone message left by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Jason Simcakoski was a Marine who died in 2014 from a fatal combination of drugs. His widow, Heather Simcakoski, told the La Crosse Tribune the settlement was “really disappointing.”