VA doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to require executives to return $400K they received in job transfer scam

November 29, 2015

Submitted by Veronica Coffin

Written by

Earlier this month The Department of Veterans Affairs reportedly paid out more than $142 million in performance bonuses in 2014 despite a string of scandals inside the agency.

The bonuses continued even after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned last year amid the scandal over falsified wait-times, suspended certain bonuses. But that move only restricted bonuses for senior execs in the embattled Veterans Health Administration. 

The VA continued to pay bonuses to other workers in other departments, including those facing their own controversies. 


Now the AP is reporting this wonderful news:

The Department of Veterans Affairs will not try to recoup more than $400,000 from two senior VA executives who manipulated the hiring system to get their jobs of choice and received hundreds of thousands in extra money to relocate.

The most transparent administration evah has remained silent on questions about its decision to demote and transfer but not fire executives Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, and whether it would collect repayment of those relocation benefits.

Photo from

On Sept. 28, 2015, the VA Inspector General’s office issued a report finding that Rubens and Graves had “inappropriately used their positions of authority for personal and financial benefit” by arranging the transfer of subordinates whose jobs they wanted and then volunteering to fill the vacancies.

When asked about the determination by the Office of General Counsel and whether criminal charges would be referred against Rubens and Graves, the Office of Inspector General said, “We do not have information that is responsive to your questions,” and deferred questions of possible prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Neither that office nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to a query on the issue.

“This move is an insult to veterans and taxpayers, who are left footing the bill,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.

Curtis Kalin, spokesman for the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste, said the VA’s systemic problems “not only hurt taxpayers, but cost some veterans their lives.”

Read the all pathetic details here.


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