Veterans Affairs Officials Rob Government; Not Fired

Perhaps the whoever made the decision to merely demote them rather than fire them decided their crime was relatively innocuous. After all, whats the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars through fraud compared to letting veterans die by neglecting to give them the care they need?

From Reason.com: “Not Even a Criminal Referral to the Dept. of Justice Can Get You Fired From the V.A.

Two senior Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials accused of scamming the agency for personal financial gain were demoted on Friday, according to a statement released by the VA.  Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, formerly senior executives, are now “general workers” within the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) as a result of an investigation that concluded the duo had “misused their positions of authority for their own personal benefit.” 

According to the report released by the VA’s inspector general (IG) earlier this fall, Rubens and Graves coerced lower-ranking managers to transfer jobs against their will. The pair would then fill the vacant positions themselves. This coercion allowed them to transfer to positions with lower responsibility while keeping their executive pay. Rubens received $181,497 as director of the Philadelphia regional office for the VBA; Graves was paid $173,949 as manager of the St. Paul, Minnesota, regional office.

The scheme also enabled them to rack up almost $400,000 in relocation allowances, courtesy of American taxpayers. 

The IG report made criminal referrals to the Department of Justice for both women.

So being recommended for prosecution to the Justice Department for stealing and coercing inferiors won’t even get you fired from Veterans Affairs. Both of the two still make over $100 thousand a year. The pair was each awarded an $8,000 bonus last year and the VA opposes proposed legislation that would empower the VA to get that money back.

This is just another example of how our government agencies reward and encourage criminal behavior.