Three VA executives recently received punishment for fraudulent and dishonest behavior that many veterans and American taxpayers believed was long overdue.
Last week, VA announced it would punish Danny Pummill, Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves for their collective conspiracy to orchestrate job movements and relocation pay shams.
VA EXECUTIVES – FAIR PUNISHMENT?
VA announced it would suspend Danny Pummill without pay for his involvement in facilitating the relocation scheme. Pummill took over Veterans Benefits Administration after Allison Hickey resigned. Hickey resigned once the moving pay scandal heated up.
RELATED: Why Did Hickey Cover For Rubens, Graves?
Both Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves would receive a pay cut equal to 10 percent of their base salary. This means Diana Rubens would receive an $18,000 cut off the top of her $181, 497 salary. Kim Graves would get a cut of $17,300 from her curiously generous salary of $173,949.
RELATED: Diana Rubens Mocks Congress Over Fraud Investigation
Previously, Merit Board judges determined Graves and Rubens would not receive their demotion and transfer punishments because VA failed to also punish Pummill for his role given that he was equal or greater rank and had a role in their scheme.
SLOAN GIBSON ON PUNISHMENT
VA’s Sloan Gibson believes this new punishment idea would circumvent the Board’s reversal of previous punishment. Gibson believes the punishments were in the best interests of the taxpayers and veterans, “Ultimately, that is what these decisions are about: getting back to the work of serving America’s veterans.”
RELATED: VA Thumbs Nose At Judge
I just wonder how much money VA wasted while juggling this matter and its previous attempts to hold only the women accountable while the male evaded accountability for his role.
But the punishment ultimately falls short. Americans and subordinates within VA will likely be left with a faint taste of manure in their mouths on this one. Any way you look at it, American taxpayers are left paying high salaries for individuals with a proven track record of dishonesty.
Pummill will still be in charge of the entire Veterans Benefits Administration. Rubens and Graves will also still be in charge of two major regional offices that process veterans benefits claims. This system has long struggled in making timely and accurate decisions on veterans claims.
How can we know these employees will carry out their mandates with integrity given their track record?
The fact is, we cannot. So why should we continue to employ them?