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Congressmen Gianforte and Johnson call for Congress to strip ex-IHS doctor of his pension

July 28, 2020
In The News

Two members of Congress have written a letter to officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding that former Indian Health Services pediatrician and convicted pedophile Stanley Patrick Weber be stripped of his pension.

Congressmen Greg Gianforte, R-Montana, and Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, wrote Monday that by allowing Weber to continue collecting his $100,000 per year pension from the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), HHS is not holding him accountable for his actions.

“Over the past few years, the American public has been shocked and horrified to learn about the appalling crimes against children perpetrated by Stanley Patrick Weber during his lengthy tenure at IHS. Despite multiple concerns and allegations throughout his tenure at IHS hospitals in Montana and South Dakota, IHS and the Public Health Service (PHS) allowed Mr. Weber to continue treating young Native American boys. These children were often disadvantaged, and Mr. Weber(’s) actions were a despicable abuse of authority and control. Thankfully, Mr. Weber has finally been put where he belongs: behind bars,” the letter reads.

Weber was convicted in both Montana and South Dakota of sexually molesting young boys on the Blackfeet and Pine Ridge Indian Reservations for nearly three decades.

He is currently serving five consecutive life sentences in federal prison.

Republican U.S. Senators Steve Daines of Montana and John Hoeven of North Dakota made a similar plea in March 2019 to HHS for the revocation of Weber’s retirement benefits.

“We are appalled by Mr. Weber’s actions and the manner in which IHS repeatedly turned a blind eye to the reported suspicions raised by his behavior,” the senators wrote. “We understand you and (IHS Principal Deputy Director) Admiral (Michael) Weahkee are looking into this matter and we appreciate your current efforts to clean up the egregious systemic breakdown that enabled Mr. Weber to abuse children for decades.

“A convicted pedophile should not receive one cent of taxpayer money while serving time in prison. This cannot stand.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that, according to a military lawyer, because Weber was not charged with a crime until after his retirement, cutting off his pension payments would be tough.

“(No) misconduct short of one thing, treason, can result in the forfeiture of a pension,” Mark Sullivan, a North Carolina-based family lawyer and former Army Reserve colonel told the Journal. “Atrocities are not a reason for forfeiture.”

The PHSCC said it would convene a board of inquiry to address the matter of Weber’s pension more than a year ago, Gianforte and Johnson’s letter added, but a spokeswoman for the agency recently declined to say if the board had met.