A woman charged with aggravated assault is back at work tonight and guess who's paying her salary? You the taxpayer.
Linda Turner was charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault and criminal impersonation after police said she pulled a gun on a grandmother and her 2-year-old granddaughter. FOX13 has been digging into this story and found that Turner works at a facility that has had its issues here in Memphis, that's the VA Medical Center.
She has been employed at the VA Medical Center since 1998, but this weekend, police said she pulled a loaded gun on a grandmother who was walking her two-year-old grand-daughter across a busy street.
Wednesday, Turner was back at work at a facility struggling to clean up its image, but there is a difference of opinions on how the aggravated assault issue should be handled.
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"Right now, she's in there working after pulling a gun on a two-year-old and a grandmother. That's sad. Sad commentary. What are the veterans to expect?," Sean Higgins, a veteran and a Memphis VA Medical Center whistleblower said.
He is talking about the affidavit accusing the VA Medical Center employee Linda Turner of aggravated assault and criminal impersonation after pulling a gun on a grandmother and her two-year-old granddaughter and claiming to be police. Turner is still employed and her salary paid for by the taxpayers. Higgins believes this would never happen at any other job.
"They'd be fired. They wouldn't be at work. They would be on a leave of absence or something until adjudication of the case. Who would feel safe with someone like that in the building?," said Higgins.
That's a question we posed to the Memphis VA. A spokesperson confirmed Turner's employment and told FOX13 via email, "The incident referenced did not occur at our Medical Center or during her tour of duty. All inquiries relative to Ms. Turner's case and legal status are considered a police matter."
We also posed the very same question to the U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs, David Shulkin. His office in Washington had a very different response.
They said, "This behavior is not in line with the norms and values of the VA, and as a result she is being processed for immediate removal from employment at the VA."
Higgins believes that it's the inconsistencies and lack of accountability at the Memphis VA Medical Center that has led to the facility being one of the lowest ranking VA's in the country. Back in March, another employee kept her job after being arrested for a third DUI and spending 90 days in jail. Higgins believes this all needs to end.
"I want to see change but it appears that we're not getting change. We're getting the same old, same old," Higgins added.
We can tell you that Sec. Shulkin dispatched VA Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management Steve Young to Memphis to work closely today with Memphis VA Director David Dunning on improvements at the facility. No word yet on the employment status of Linda Turner.
Cox Media Group