By taking the job of permanent director of the Manchester VA, Al Montoya also received a nearly nine percent pay raise.
In his new role, Montoya will earn an annual salary of $174,500. That's more than $14,000 more than he made as director of White River Junction, Vermont VA Medical Center, which is a larger and more complex facility. There he made $160,147.99 per year.
Spokesperson for the regional VA network Maureen Heard says a director's pay is based on several factors, including medical center complexity, the director's experience, and local circumstances.
The circumstances in Manchester have been less than ideal, according to a dozen whistleblowers who came forward with allegations of substandard care under the previous director, whom Montoya replaced on an interim basis just days after the whistleblowers came forward.
Former director Danielle Ocker was removed as director pending an investigation. She is temporarily employed by the VA's regional network, working on special projects.