Ex-VA employee sentenced for leaking Ojeda’s medical records
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Department of Veterans Affairs employee has been sentenced to six months in prison for leaking the medical records of Richard Ojeda as the former Army major was running for Congress in West Virginia.
Jeffrey Miller of Huntington was sentenced Tuesday in federal court. Miller, 40, had pleaded guilty to accessing the medical records of six veterans when he was working for the VA’s benefits administration.
Miller admitting taking a picture of Ojeda’s records, then sending the image to an unnamed acquaintance.
Ojeda has said the records were distributed among high-ranking Republicans to derail his campaign for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018. He sued the VA for documents related to the agency’s investigation of Miller, saying the records would “prove a concerted effort to undermine his candidacy and forever damage his reputation.”
Ojeda lost to current Rep. Carol Miller. Her spokeswoman has said the congresswoman isn’t related to Jeffrey Miller and that she has never seen the medical records.
Just days after losing to Miller, Ojeda announced he was running for president in 2020. He stepped down from his state Senate seat so he could campaign but then abandoned his presidential bid after about two months as a candidate, saying he wasn’t getting enough money or attention.
Miller’s sentencing comes as Ojeda mounts another bid for public office, filing last week to run for U.S. Senate in West Virginia as a Democrat. He appeared to address the leak in a campaign video posted to his Twitter account, saying his veteran’s status had been “smeared” during his congressional race.