WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson announced Tuesday that he is resigning after criticism over the VA healthcare system.
Nicholson said he plans to leave by Oct. 1, the Washington Post reported. He expects to find a private-sector job.
"This coming February, I turn 70 years old, and I feel it is time for me to get back into business while I still can," he said.
Nicholson, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Republican National Chairman, has headed the department, the second largest in the government, since 2005. During his tenure, the department has had to cope with large numbers of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and has been criticized for taking too long to process disability claims.
Shortly after he became secretary, Nicholson told Congress that the Bush administration underestimated the number of people who would be injured.
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