ABC News’ Jennifer Duck Reports: Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson submitted his resignation today saying he will return to work in the private sector. He will be replaced before October 1 of this year.
Nicholson’s tenure as Secretary of Veteran Affairs has been criticized over the past year and a half, with closing hospitals around the country, overcrowded conditions for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, questionable outpatient care for veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other hospitals, the loss of 26.5 million veterans’ personal data last summer, and awarding $3.8 million in bonuses to senior officials in charge of the failing budget at the VA.
However, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said there was "no backstory" on Nicholson’s departure. President Bush went further praising Nicholson’s work saying, "Jim has led innovative efforts to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is better prepared to address the challenges facing our newest generation of heroes after they return home."
Nicholson has worked for the administration since 2001 as an ambassador to the Holy See and was sworn in as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on February 1, 2005.