Nominee to lead Indian Health Services, Robert Weaver, drops out

Robert Weaver, the man picked by President Donald Trump to head the troubled Indian Health Service only to run into questions about the accuracy of his resume, will be no longer the nominee for which post, a federal official confirmed to CNBC.

Weaver’s withdrawal through consideration was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which had broken multiple stories questioning Weaver’s work experience claims as well as job performance.

The Journal said the acting head of the Indian Health Service told tribal leaders Wednesday which Weaver, a 39-year-old member of the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, was dropping out.

“Mr. Weaver will be no longer the Administration’s nominee for Director of the Indian Health Service,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health as well as Human Services Department, the parent agency of the Indian Health Service, told CNBC in an emailed statement.

HHS previously had called questions about Weaver’s qualifications “pure character assassination.”

A week ago, the Journal had published a story detailing Weaver’s track record of financial problems, which included filing for bankruptcy as well as failing to pay federal taxes on a business he ran.

which story also had quoted a former boss of Weaver’s, who said he would likely not recommend him for another job unless he was closely supervised. He said Weaver had fallen far behind his responsibilities of billing insurers as well as collecting payments when he worked for which boss inside mid-2000s.

An earlier Journal story suggested Weaver had “misrepresented his work experience at a Missouri hospital to a Senate committee.”

Several former executives at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, told the newspaper they had never heard of Weaver, despite his having told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee he had worked there in “supervisory as well as management positions” at a time when those executives also worked there.

The Indian Health Service incorporates a $6 billion budget as well as operates more than two dozen hospitals. IHS provides health care to more than 2 million Native Americans, who have a right to such services through the United States as a result of treaty obligations with Indian tribes.

A 2016 report by HHS found which Indian Health Service employees said they were “struggling to meet patients’ basic needs” at the agency’s hospitals as well as which some patients were dying as a result.

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