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Leader of Indy VA retiring after riddled tenure

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The head of the state’s largest veteran-oriented hospital announced his retirement Thursday, effective April 4.

Tom Mattice, who has served as the director of the Indianapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2008, said in a news release he feels the timing is right for him to conclude his tenure.

“For the past 34 years the VA has been my passion,” he said in the release. “However, after 14 years at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, the time feels right to move on.”

Mattice came to the Indianapolis VA in the early 2000s. filling an associate director position in the time before he was named CEO..

According to the VA’s website, Mattice served stints with other VA offices in the decades leading up to his move to Indianapolis.

But in the time since, he has stayed atop the Indianapolis VA hierarchy in a period of turmoil throughout the national veterans medical system.

Mattice has previously acknowledged the problems within the VA system — and those posed within his own jurisdiction — with a promise such matters would be addressed.

“There is an image problem out there,” he told 24-Hour News 8 in July 2014. “We are certainly trying to address it in anyway we can locally.”

The director himself has faced intense scrutiny, even being called on to resign in the wake of last year’s revelations of corruption throughout the system.

While Mattice has never been charged as such, some Indiana veterans have said their confidence in the leader has become almost non-existent.

In an interview with I-Team 8 last September, war veteran Rusty Johnson said the writing was already on the wall for the director.

“I have no faith in Tom Mattice at all,” Johnson said at the time. “I think he should resign or be fired immediately. He is terrible. We shouldn’t be suffering like this.”

As Mattice prepares to retire, it is unclear what his plans for the future, personal or professional, might include.

Mattice has not revealed those plans, nor has he announced any major VA system changes coming to Indianapolis before he exits his post in two months time.