The VA official accused of stealing $130,000 from taxpayers has been given her job back after a judge's ruling last week. This decision, which one lawmaker called an insult, means the VA official may also receive $50,000 which was the pay cut she should have received from her original demotion.
And yes, you read that right - Kimberly Graves who was accused of taxpayer fraud never lost her job. She was only demoted. And this was the second time she had been demoted as originally the VA lost paperwork and her first, like her second, demotion was overturned.
As you may remember, The inspector general said in a report this fall that Rubens and Graves forced lower-ranking regional managers to accept job transfers against their will. Rubens and Graves then stepped into the vacant positions themselves, keeping their pay while reducing their responsibilities.
No one ever denied the two VA officials took the money - over $400,000 combined. However, the VA said it was just an "error in judgement" and not fraud. They were then able to avoid criminal prosecution and keep their jobs at the VA.
That is when the whole "demotion" circus started. Now Kimberley Graves' demotion is overturned and a hearing for Rubens was set for today to see if her demotion will be upheld.
After the judge' decision her attorney told Government Executive, “Ms. Graves is happy the action was reversed, and she looks forward to continuing her life’s work serving veterans.”
From all the news we've read, that statement should read that the VA official looks forward to providing a disservice to veterans by stealing from American taxpayers.
Rep. Jeff Miller, a Republican from Florida, said Kimberly Graves' successful appeal of her demotion from director of the agency's Philadelphia regional office is an insult "to the many dedicated VA employees who do the right thing on a daily basis."
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