Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki submitted his resignation on Friday, and President Obama accepted, agreeing that the organization needs new leadership. (Associated Press)


President Obama announced Friday that he accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki amid a scandal involving VA health centers that falsified their records to hide treatment delays.

The move came as pressure grew from Democratic and Republican lawmakers for the department chief to step down. Shinseki said he did not want to be a distraction to the department’s efforts to address the scheduling problems, according to Obama.

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. (EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo).

The president said Shinseki’s commitment to veterans is unquestioned.

“I am grateful for his service, as are many veterans across the country,” he said at a news conference, adding that “he is a very good man.”

Obama said he has appointed VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson to serve as interim head of the department as he chooses a permanent replacement for Shinseki.

Gibson, who was confirmed for his role by the Senate in February, previously led the United Services Organizations, which supports troops and their families. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy who served as an infantry officer in the Army.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to