DENVER -- The House Committee of Veterans’ Affairs has held a number of congressional hearings about why construction costs on Denver's VA hospital are more than $1 billion over budget.
The committee believes contractors and VA employees, called in front of them to testify under oath about the mess, have not been telling the truth.
In September, 21 members of Congress asked for a perjury probe, which, according to a letter from the Justice Department dated Dec. 9, is now underway.
VA committee member and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman shared the letter this week.
In it, the Justice department says in part, “The information provided in the letter from the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has been reviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation`s (FBI) public corruption unit ... where it (is) under review to determine if any action is deemed necessary.”
Coffman released a statement supporting the FBI probe.
“Cost overruns at the VA hospital that are nearly three times the original estimated cost is an outrage, but what’s most troubling is the misleading information the VA has provided Congress concerning this construction project," Coffman said.
"News that the Justice Department is looking into this case is welcomed, and I hope results come of it. Holding those testifying before Congress accountable is crucial for our oversight function. I look forward to continuing to look into this matter, not only for our Veterans that rightly deserve the healthcare this facility will provide, but also to the American taxpayer who expects government to spend their tax dollars wisely.”
The final price tag for the hospital won't be known until it's estimated completion date in January 2018. The costs have ballooned to at least three times the original estimate from 2014.