SPOKANE, Wash. – Two Washington lawmakers criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs Wednesday for continuing to employ Dwayne Thurman.

From the beginning, there has never been any question as to who shot and killed Brenda Thurman more than a year ago. Her husband, Dwayne Thurman, has said from day one that he shot her in the chest, claiming it was an accident. Thurman has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife. Lawmakers believe that admission should have been enough to place him on leave from the VA Homeless Outreach Center in downtown Spokane where he works and is still on the payroll.

In January of 2016, former Reserve Deputy Dwayne Thurman claimed he was cleaning a gun he bought for his wife Brenda in the kitchen of their Spokane Valley home when it went off. It took more than a year for investigators to make a charging decision and did not charge Thurman until last month. Prosecutors believe he was reckless in causing his wife’s death.

Brenda Thurman

Now, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers have expressed concerns over the fact that he continues to be employed by the VA.

Representative McMorris Rodgers released a statement saying, “If someone is formally charged with a violent crime, that person should at a minimum be placed on administrative leave until the legal matter is resolved. Failure to do so means placing our nation’s heroes in the hands of someone potentially guilty of a terrible and heartbreaking act…”

KREM 2 reached out to the VA about Thurman’s employment status. They told us it is a personnel matter and that they cannot comment on such matters.