The chief of the Veterans Benefits Administration has been suspended by the Department of Veterans Affairs because it was determined he knowingly permitted two lower-ranking officials to “game” the hiring system to their own advantage.
Sloan Gibson, the Deputy Secretary of the VA, is suspending VBA boss Danny Pummill for 15 days for his part in a so-called “relocation scam.” Specifically, Pummill allowed two senior underlings, Kimberly Graves and Diana Rubens, to exert pressure on managers under them to accept job transfers that would permit the two women to assume the vacant positions, giving each the opportunity to enjoy fewer responsibilities while still keeping their higher compensation. Graves earns $173,949 as head of the St. Paul, Minnesota benefits office, while Rubens earns $181,497 as director of the Philadelphia regional office.
As for punishment of Graves and Rubens, it was, in the end, limited to a reprimand and pay cut of 10 percent for each. Originally, the decision was made to bounce them from their positions, but administrative judges made the decision to overturn those demotions in part on the basis that those in oversight positions above them…like Pummill…had not been disciplined. In other words, because everyone had yet to be disciplined, basically no one can be disciplined…or something like that.
Your tax dollars at work.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large