Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center under fire in new inspector general report

CLEVELAND - The Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C. issued a scathing report on the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center at Wade Park.

The report is more than 100 pages and breaks down why the office feels the Wade Park project was not in the best interest of the people it serves. The report claims of inflated prices of $500 million over 20 years.

"VA Management inappropriately used VA's Enhanced Use Lease authority to procure office space, parking, and domiciliary services at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center," said a synopsis of the report on the VA's website.

The report raises concerns over the involvement in the project of Cleveland businessman Michael Forlani, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges in August. Forlani's business ventures included work at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

He faces 70 to 90 months in a federal prison and will be sentenced on Dec. 6.

"The space and services procured through the Enhanced Use Lease with Veterans Development, LLC significantly exceeded any in-kind consideration for the Brecksville campus. By using VA's Enhanced Use Lease authority, VA Management was able to circumvent the normal rules and processes for procuring space and services, including healthcare services. This eliminated competition and caused VA to overpay for space and services and caused an increase risk in security. VA Management largely disagreed with our findings; however, our review of their response found it to be unsupported and unresponsive to our concerns and findings," the site said.

We reached out VA management in Cleveland, but they referred us to a public information officer in Washington, D.C. Our calls were not returned.

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