GAMING THE SYSTEM
Witnesses from the Department of Veterans Affairs, from left, Los Angeles Regional Office Director Robert McKenrick, Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices Director Diana Rubens, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits Danny Pummill, St. Paul Regional Office Director Kimberly Graves, Baltimore Regional Office Director Antione Waller, and Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday. appear at a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.
Witnesses from the Department of Veterans Affairs, from left, Los Angeles Regional Office Director Robert McKenrick, Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices Director Diana Rubens, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits Danny Pummill, St. Paul Regional Office Director Kimberly Graves, Baltimore Regional Office Director Antione Waller, and Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Inspector General Linda Halliday. appear at a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015.
AP photo by Molly Riley

VA Officials Refuse To Answer Questions On Relocation Scandal

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During a House Veterans Affairs Committee on Nov. 2, five senior Veteran Affairs officials, subpoenaed as witnesses on the department’s relocation policy, spent the hearing dodging questions from committee members. Two of the officials, Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves who stand accused of receiving inflated moving expenses, invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.

The three other witnesses subpoenaed by the committee argued that the department’s problems didn’t stem from top-down corruption, but from the department’s rush to fill needed positions. The inspector-general investigation tells a different story. Over the past three fiscal years, the department spent more than $1.5 million on 21 questionable relocation assignments for senior executives, reports Military Times.

“If VA put half of the effort into pushing for true accountability or protecting their employees who come forth as whistleblowers as they have for the individuals investigated in this IG report, then I honestly think the department would be in a much better place,” said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Get the full story at Military Times.