Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson Resigns James Nicholson, the top official at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says he will leave his post by Oct. 1. Under Nicholson, the agency was criticized for being unprepared to care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson Resigns

Veterans Affairs Secretary Nicholson Resigns

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James Nicholson, the top official at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says he will leave his post by Oct. 1. Under Nicholson, the agency was criticized for being unprepared to care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson has announced he is resigning after two and a half years on the job. Nicholson said yesterday he wants to return to the private sector. He'll leave by October 1st. The VA under Nicholson has been criticized for being unprepared to care for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Nicholson's watch the VA went over budget by more than a billion dollars, and the largest data breach in federal government history also occurred under Nicholson, when a VA laptop and external hard drive containing the personal information of more than 26 million veterans was stolen.

Nicholson was national Republican chairman from 1997 to the 2000 elections, and a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. His colleagues at the VA said his resignation was a surprise.

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