Esther Garatie

Last month we told you about Esther Garatie, a lesbian Marine veteran who says she became the victim of anti-gay harassment by a nurse practitioner when she sought mental health treatment at the Dallas VA Medical Center.

Today is reporting — and Dallas Voice has confirmed — that the nurse practitioner, Lincy Pandithurai, has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the VA Medical Center’s investigation into Garatie’s complaint.

“We started a fact-finding review when this allegation was first brought to our attention,” VA Medical Center spokeswoman Monica A. Smith said in an email. “To get a more in-depth look at the allegation, VA North Texas is now conducting an administrative investigation board review and expects to have that completed by the end of November. The nurse named in the allegation is currently placed on administrative duties while the investigation is ongoing.”

Smith explained that administrative duty means Pandithurai is assigned to a non-clinical area and is not seeing patients. Smith declined to specify the date when Pandithurai was placed on administrative duty.

The petition calling for the VA Medical Center to fire Pandithurai — which was launched by Garatie’s friend Jessica Gerson in the wake of the alleged incident — now has almost 13,000 signatures.