The Department of Veterans Affairs is under fire again as two senior officials accused of taxpayer fraud were not fired, but instead were demoted only demoted.
The two VA officials accused of fraud were Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves. They were accused of stealing more than $400,000 from taxpayers by manipulating the Department of Veterans Affairs hiring system for their own gain.
When Rubens and Graves were subpoenaed to appear before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, they refused to testify. The two high-ranking VA officials, who face criminal prosecution, told the House committee they were asserting their Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution to protect themselves against self-incrimination.
Now, instead of being fired, Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves have only been demoted from regional directors to assistant directors.
Along with the accusations of defrauding taxpayers out of over $400,000, they are accused of forcing regional managers at more junior levels to accept job transfers, then snatching up those positions for themselves.
Despite the lower pay grade, Rubens and Graves then kept their salaries of $181,497 and $173,949 respectively, according to the Associated Press.
Veteran advocates say the decision to only demoted these two VA officails is unacceptable, and are demanding the two be fired.
We have to agree. It's time Department of Veterans Affairs started showing some accountability
Rep.Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, made the same point when he said the, “VA’s indifference regarding this serious problem is another disturbing reminder that until its leaders commit to supporting real accountability — something they have refused to do thus far — efforts to reform the department are doomed to fail.”
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