VA Says $400K Scheme by 2 Execs Just Bad Judgement and Not Taxpayer Fr

VA Says $400K Scheme by 2 Execs Just Bad Judgement and Not Taxpayer Fraud

December 11, 2015

VA Says $400K Scheme by 2 Execs Just Bad Judgement and Not Taxpayer Fraud

The deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that two senior VA officials accused of stealing more than $400,000 from taxpayers by manipulating the Department of Veterans Affairs hiring system for their own gain were only guilty of using bad judgment.

You read that right...taxpayer fraud to the tune of over $400,000 is not a crime in the eyes of the VA, but only a little bad judgement.

If you find that announcement dumbfounding and enraging, you are not alone. House lawmakers were also extremely frustrated and angry at Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson's testimony earlier this week.

According to reports, the deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that two executives under federal investigation for collecting $400,000 in a relocation scheme are actually innocent of any crimes or ethical lapses.

"In my opinion, the evidence collected by the IG does not support one violation of law. Not one violation of rule. Not even one violation of regulation related to relocation expenses," Gibson told the House Veterans Affairs Committee. "The easy option for me would have been to propose removal. I didn't come to VA to do the easy thing."

Outrage Over Decision Not to Fire Senior VA Officials

You may remember that we reported last month that the VA decided to only demote - not fire - Diana Rubens, former director of the Philadelphia Regional Office, and Kimberly Graves, former director of the St. Paul Regional Office.

And even those demotions were botched by the VA when its attorneys failed to provide the women with all the evidence against them. In other words, they still haven't been demoted which means they are still collecting higher salaries.

On top of that, it was also announced that the two VA officials accused of fraud would not have to pay back the more than $400,000 they are accused of stealing - or using bad judgement to take wrongfully (depending on who you ask) - because it was approved by other employees who believed the payments were merited.

Lawmakers Condemn Decision to Call Fraud Bad Judgetment

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, who has been outspoken on the lack of accountability at the VA was just as outspoken over Gibson's testimony.

Here's what the Stars and Stripes reported Miller having to say on the subject.

"Mr. Gibson, I think your statement is pretty damn inconsistent," said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Veterans Affairs chairman. "We're all educated enough to know the definition of accountability but you and the secretary have decided to change that definition."

Miller said he was "dumbfounded" by Gibson's position on Rubens and Graves and that the IG investigation shows more than poor judgement. Miller compared the VA decision allowing Rubens and Graves to keep the relocation bonuses to bank robbers who are allowed to keep stolen money.

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7 Responses

James D. Bedell USA Retired
James D. Bedell USA Retired

February 22, 2016

But Congress and the Senate will do nothing to correct this action or these statement by removing those in charge in the VA administration, and the Subordinates who have been taking advantage of those who have served and now need the help that has been promised to them by the The Government of the US., and the the Commander and Chief / President of the US and the Congress to Care for and Protect those who served is an out an out lie and You wonder why the Veterans are treated so poorly and civilians are asked to donate their hard earned tax dollars to support the wounded veterans who did risk life and limb to serve and protect those politicians who are and have been in congress and the senate and the President so they can live the life they choose at will. Show me where this is right in any world. I have lost faith in the whole political/ government system that was designed to serve and protect its citizens.

John r McNabb
John r McNabb

February 22, 2016

That is why I don’t go to the va .

Craig
Craig

February 22, 2016

What I would like to know is where the heck is Congressman Lamborn when all this was going down? Golfing with the president? Hopefully I won’t get blocked from this page like Lamborn did to me on his FB page when I asked him a valid question during his candicacy…

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Leland
Leland

February 22, 2016

All VA Senior Officials should think about all Veterans instead of them selves so the veterans can be taken care of. I think all the Senior Officials should be removed from office and get people that will make sure all Veterans are care of.

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