Veterans Affairs Rehires Official After Fatal Drunk Driving Accident

Jed Fillingim

Jed Fillingim

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The Department of Veterans Affairs rehired a high-level official at a more than $100,000 annual salary after a drunk driving accident in a government vehicle that killed a fellow VA employee, an NBC News4 investigation team found.

The department is now under congressional investigation. NBC News4 reported Tuesday:

Police records and personnel documents obtained by the I-Team under the Freedom of Information Act reveal Veterans Affairs Department financial manager Jed Fillingim was involved in a deadly incident while traveling on business for the agency in 2010.

Police and federal investigators found Fillingim drove a government truck after drinking with two colleagues at a bar near Dallas while attending a June 2010 conference for federal employees. One of the two colleagues, Mississippi-based VA employee Amy Wheat, who had also been drinking that night, fell out of the truck while it was moving and died. She suffered severe head injuries and a severed leg in the fall. Blood covered the truck and one of its wheel wells, according to police reports.

Though he resigned from his position with the agency’s Jackson, Miss., medical center five months later, the News4 I-Team has learned Fillingim was rehired in March 2011 and has since assumed a high-level managerial position in Augusta, Ga., earning more than $100,000 per year.