Why Was Allison Hickey Covering For Rubens, Graves?

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Allison Hickey Resignation

Benjamin KrauseOn Friday, Under Secretary Allison Hickey stepped down just prior to a House Committee hearing, October 21, 2015. That hearing is about allegations of pay fraud by Veterans Benefits Administration executives approved by Hickey.

Late Friday afternoon, the House Committee was scrambling to figure out how to subpoena Hickey to ensure she shows up to account for the pay scandal. Lawmakers no doubt want to question Hickey over the undeserved pay incentives she approved and interference she was running for Diana Rubens and Kim Graves.

Do you have information about Rubens or Graves that includes their involvement with Hickey? Two years ago, I met with Hickey in Washington DC and gave her input. The people under Hickey were misleading her, but she obviously failed to evaluate the concern. Likewise, then Secretary Eric Shinseki also disregarded concerns that entrenched VA bureaucrats were misleading him. Now, they are both gone due to being misled by bureaucrats.

RELATED: Notes From My Meeting With Allison Hickey

Will Bob McDonald take heed?

@deptvetaffairs What is the real story on Diana Rubens and Hickey? Click to Tweet

Many may be unfamiliar with bean counter type games where nepotism allows pay incentives that are unjustifiable, but this gaming of the system goes back to at least 2007 and probably much earlier.The real story here is VA has been pushing forward to create its current electronic claims system using insurance technology since 1993. Documents in the Clinton Library are very insightful on the subject. It is highly likely that leaders like Allison Hickey refused to terminate longtime VA bureaucrats involved in VBA reforms to avoid losing institutional knowledge that only they have.

This article is intended to put a call out for information from readers. Below are some details to see what we can shake loose from the tree.

RELATED: Execs Who Received Bonuses Also Approved Them (2007)

In 2007, Kim Graves’ husband Mike Walcoff voted to give healthy bonuses to himself and his wife. Later, Walcoff went on to become the acting Under Secretary of VBA before Hickey took over. At that time, he arranged for Graves to receive a promotion to Director of VBA Eastern Area Office.

RELATED: Michael Walcoff VA Executive Biography

Back then, numerous VBA executives voted to award themselves huge bonuses despite failing to craft an accurate budget. It was $1.3 billion short. Some of the names back then are also resurfacing today that came back to bite Allison Hickey. Kim Graves was a director at the time and benefactor of a substantial bonus while her husband, Mike Walcoff, voted on his and her bonuses that year. Apparently nothing came of the pay scandal then.

RELATED: VBA Compensation Report From Booz Allen Hamilton (2009)

Walcoff went on to become the acting under secretary for benefits in 2010 before Allison Hickey took over. Allegations have recently surfaced that Walcoff was key in his wife receiving a promotion to VBA Eastern Area for five years before she took a demotion to run St. Paul RO while taking a pay reduction.

Graves recently received $125,000 as a moving incentive to take a demotion for a position in St. Paul, MN, that she personally created.

Likewise, Diana Rubens accepted $280,000 as a moving incentive. She also created a position for her partner so they could move together. VA OIG apparently investigated the nepotism but found no wrongdoing.

Before this current scandal, Rubens was linked to a spying scheme in Philadelphia Regional Office of House Committee staffers. They also destroyed numerous Federal records related to veterans claims and blocked attempts by Congress to investigate.

RELATED: Veterans Affairs stonewalls, spies on those investigating it

Typical VA nepotism? Will the House Committee on Veterans Affairs get Allison Hickey to show up this week?

UPDATE

I just received her “My final love note – Thank you and God Bless!” to her employees. Regardless of how the hearing turns out, no one can question Allison Hickey’s commitment to her employees – right or wrong. Check in tomorrow when I post it for you to review and comment on…

Here is the first paragraphs, but there is a lot more to evaluate including the aggregate data claims she makes including that the backlog was reduced from 611,000 to 70,000 with very high accuracy claims. I will post the rest tomorrow:

VBA Team Members, VA Team Members and Partners,

Over the last four and a half years, I have sent you many a note acknowledging all the extraordinary efforts and results you have driven to significantly improve our delivery of benefits and services to our over 12 million Veterans, Servicemembers, their families and Survivors.  In every one of these notes, there was also an ask, a call to action, for the next level of service we can and should provide.

This note–my last to you–is no different.

Check in tomorrow for the rest.

Kevin Craig Canada

This Hickey decided my case in ONE week after my C&P exams uneard of, covered everything up, did not even look at all of the evidence. The VA is using me as a human guinea pig, almost died at a VA hospital. Seven surgeries my face, brain, sinuses, ears are still infected.

Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace

Kevin, this may sound too basic, but get someone to make some home-made chicken soup for you, and stay on it till you get better. If you can’t get home-made, use canned. It will help, a lot. And, hopefully you can get to a good doctor to see if you can be put on anti-biotics.

namnibor
@Bruce- Great advice. I often have nausea, and there’s times when you know body is lacking in fighting something off, and that’s why I keep canned Campbell chicken soup stocked whenever on sale, and saltine crackers…works wonders. However, Kevin up there sounds like he needs to see a civilian dr. as I know well, having the VA give me ‘little presents’ like C-DIFF and MRSA…bad, MRSA…the VA does not exactly “keep-up” in “application” with the civilian medical world…yet, the VA… Read more »
Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace
The whole mess at the VA, including these three women, is destined to turn out to be a thousand times worse than most would ever guess. If only a small portion of the entire truth, about VA Dirty Laundry soon comes out, as to the driving forces of the widespread corruption at the VA, that will be more than enough. Watch for people and evidence being thrown overboard as the rats start leaving the sinking ship. It’s a carefully crafted,… Read more »
namnibor
Plea Deal. Gen. Hickey has a rare and unique opportunity to start naming names and fraud/abuses, and am almost wondering if she was not made to resign early if she did so on her own accord to pave the way for her to perhaps have some protections if she did decide to be the very whistleblower of all whistleblowers in order to clean-up the VA. Human Ego is also surely at play but if Hickey is the devout Christian she… Read more »
Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace

Don’t be so sure she will be offered a plea deal. Like Elf points out above, art imitates life, in the movie National Treasure, the DOJ agent keeps saying, “Somebody’s got to go to prison.”

CorpsmanuP! (@Tang1967)
The 3 Bees! Bob’s Biligerent Bitches . It is straight deplurable that high ranking military officers at VA get duped. I think this is intentional, so it doesn’t look really bad if the Agency head was a civilian. I think it is set up this way so that the “veteran” is the fall guy in every instance. These Congressmen get to be the same way, until there is pressure put on them. GOD forbid , that there is a major… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
CorpsmanuP, You just might be onto something. With the influx of 10’s of 1,000’s of “illegal immigrants”, (no one knows how many really), and a few hundred thousand (middle eastern) immigrants being “forced upon American cities” (soon). It’s the opinion of millions of Americans right now, something is going to happen in a negative light. Our government wants our cities to take in, without due process or viable background checks, people who just might to want cause harm to America.… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

I think that it’s high time Bob McDonald should resign. He needs to go too!

crazyelf
crazyelf
Does anyone remember the first “National Treasure” movie? There’s a great ‘line’ in it, it was repeated by the FBI agent (a “Mason”) a few times. “Somebody’s got to go to jail!” Myself and namnibor have said it straight. Do a “Plea Deal” Hickey! If Hickey had any kind of “integrity, honor and trustworthy qualities” at all, she would go to that hearing (on her own) and tell all of America the truth! Here’s my take, Hickey goes to the… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf

This is something my wife just said. Hickey is like the DAV. She helps a few veterans receive their benefits, then “glamorises” it. You know, like Rep. Miller being in the DAV Magazine every other month. Saying how much He’s doing for veterans. What a crock of bullcrap!

bruce wallace
bruce wallace
Elf, I may very well be wrong, but I seem to remember one year when there was no increase, but later in the year they went back and made one. There is likely to be a close Presidential race, right up to the vote in late 2016, with major posturing to get the veteran vote. If anyone could find this kind of thing on the net it would be you. Again, I may just be dreaming, but it seems like… Read more »
namnibor
What many people do not take in account when it comes to elderly or Veterans living on a Fixed Income is, regardless of the “lower gas prices”, if a person is renting an apartment (which probably more Vets do than own a home), a landlord could care less that there was no COLA Increase for any given year…they will increase the rent per month SO THEY can keep-up with increased costs, so take $50. a month X 12= $600. additional… Read more »
James
I think it would be very interesting if the government would look at all management positions through out the VA and see how many employees are related or child hood friends, holding these positions! I have seen an assistant director retire at a facility where I worked (VA) As soon as he left the VA hired his son, as the supervisor of the file room, he was hired from the outside! When employees complained about it, management released him from… Read more »
Ray Goff
There are currently 81 Veterans serving in the Congress. The former XO of Seal Team Six has said he wants to be the next Speaker of the House. With their experience in the Military and their status as a Veteran, we would hope they are strategically located on the various Veterans Affairs Committees to speak out on those issues that are Pro Veterans. Not off to a good start, Last week, the Senate voted no on a bill that would… Read more »
Robin Mitchell
My congressman Rep Lee Zeldin is an Army Reserve officer. He is on the veterans affairs committee. In two months he can’t get McDonald or Hickey to answer his letter on why they let those under them in Indy break laws as in Title 38 Duty to Assist, Fast Letter 09-52, Training Letter 09-01, etc. Hickey sent it back to the same people in Indy who broke the law to answer why they did. She was either just as corrupt… Read more »
Robin Mitchell
Someone at SOCOM said that the VA lately was in chaos like never before. Possible death spiral. Those boys ought to know what chaos looks like. Another person told me that Hickey was seen looking ready to cry often. Couple that with God told her not to resign and I’d say she was becoming or is unhinged. I also heard that Indianapolis Director Michael Stephens is in deep doo-doo over the fiduciary program if they ever do an anal on… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
Here’s two (2) articles I received this morning, 1.) “Military dot com” “Daily News” “Penn State | online” “VA Undersecretary Resigns amid Pressure from Lawmakers, Vets Groups” 16 Oct 2015 Military dot com | by Bryant Jordan And from, “VA is Lying” RJ, Las Vegas RJ “Las Vegas Review-Journal” “Editorial: Huge Construction Costs Overruns Show need to Privatize VA” The first article clearly indicates “Lawmakers and Veterans Groups” wanted Hickey to step down. I ask then, What caused Hickey to… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
And let’s not forget the article I gave yesterday concerning a new scandal out of the Phoenix VAMC, “Delays at VA Urology clinic implicated in deaths” from “military dot com”! Robin, you may be right. The Veterans Administration may very well be in “chaos” and a “death spiral”. With all the negative news reports coming out as of late, VA (and our so called lawmakers) is definitely feeling the pressures by veterans and taxpayers. I believe Old McD might want… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf

Something my wife wanted me to reiterate. Don’t forget NO COLA increase. Why is that? Our lawmakers want us to believe it’s “due to gasoline prices dropping”! Sorry, but that is, as a close friend of mine would say, “Pure Unadulterated Bull Shit!” He’s a MAN of few words. But one hell of a friend!

James
People being fired or forced to retire and being replaced without out being told, thing’s will not be tolerated business as usual! Every employee needs to be informed IF their actions or inaction results in veterans being denied benefits and found out that the employees improperly denied those benefits is a criminal act and federal charges be placed upon them and will be arrested! All federal employees have the right not to do something they know is wrong and not… Read more »
Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace
The below federal arrest, in March 2015, will give you an idea as to why Hickey resigned. It is a rather similar case earlier this year involving the VA. Note the possible 40 years prison sentence and total of $500,000 in possible fines. (Just wait till charges start being filed on the $1 billion Aurora VA hospital scandal. The shredders are running 24/7 to destroy evidence on that one.) Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Alabama FOR… Read more »
James
The union official will not have anything done, except be asked to resign and pay those monies back or be transferred and given a raise! This has happened before and the employees was able to keep their job and able to retire with all benefits! Until employees are really held accountable and jail time give, all employees will continue to do what they want and laugh, because they know very little will be done. Those type of employees will learn… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
@Bruce, great researching. How bout keeping up on it? Let us know what happens. @James, First, she was a “former president of the local union” at the time of the indictment, in Alabama. Secondly, She was indicted this year in March.Therefore, she will go to court. UNLESS she makes a “PLEA DEAL” to keep from going to prison for a LONGER time! Once an indictment is reached in a court system, there’s no turning back. I wonder if “Rep. Roby”… Read more »
James
Elf if you have never been a VA employee, there are people that will falsely accuse fellow employees of wrongdoing and need someone to do the right thing and protect them from injustice! Employees without someone going to their aid, management would be railroaded! I was a union representative and I looked at everything, I didn’t automatically defend an employee, when the proof shows wrongdoing! Some employees are like canables and will devour their own, if they have a personal… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf
@James We’re not talking about a VA employee. This was a (former) union president who retired in 2013. She was indicted of embezzlement of union monies and other charges in March 2015 “of over $132,000”. She did the crimes while she was president of that “local chapter” in Birmingham. That’s the difference here. The multiple agencies must have done a long investigation to come up with enough evidence to indict. If there hadn’t been enough evidence, trust me, a grand… Read more »
Reuben Castro Acosta
CONGRESS COWARDS DECLARE VA DC HQ A FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKETS AND SHUNT THIS SATANIC DEMONIC INSANITY CALL VA DEATHCARE FROM AFGE UNION CONTRACTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
crazyelf
crazyelf
According to “Military dot com” “Military Report” “VA Million Veteran Program Hits Milestone” All I can say about this article is: Do y’all want to be a guinea pig? Read it! Also, there was a large number of articles on this afternoons “military dot com” email to me concerning VA. We must also remember the military will not be receiving COLA as well. That should make our proud soldiers, sailors, marines et., etc., proud to be serving a country who… Read more »
James

What’s their email, I will also ask, do you know for sure they made it come down! Veterans need to know who’s with them and who isn’t!

If they forced it down, they need to be advised of the first amendment of the U.S. constitution!

Need to see what VA ties they have!

crazyelf
crazyelf
@James, No, I’m not sure of the “Who” had it removed. This was what was said to me by a couple of friends. That’s why I’m being careful how I approach it. Also, if you’d like to, google the “Volusia County, Florida” Commissioners Office. Contact information. It should give you each persons name plus their email address. I could sure use the help. Just one thing, please don’t accuse YET. Find out the “who, what, why, when, where and how”… Read more »
James
No answer about the reason why they won’t test or give a disability hearing for certain disability, but if the veteran can tie it to the military service, there should be no reason for not doing so! My son was given a rating of 100 percent, total and permanent and keep making him rerate him and this behavior only upsets those veterans, wondering why they play these games with people’s lives! They have to know what’s going on with their… Read more »
bruce wallace
bruce wallace
Elf, I don’t know if you have a way to contact the Marine vet who served at LeJune in the 1950’s. But, he is certainly meets the age requirement, and has medical disability issues, that have earned him a VA pension, whether it is service connected or not. I am not sure, but it is supposed to be around $1,700 a month and — again, I think, can be used for stay at home care and/or living expenses or in-patient/senior… Read more »
crazyelf
crazyelf

@Bruce
Yes that’s what the elderly marine was wanting. He said the VA was stonewalling him. I believe it really has to do with the age(s) of these vets. I know another vet, in his 80’s, who is dealing with the same crap VA puts out. He broke his back while in service. And the VA is denying him on stuff he never put in for! How’s that for a fubar!?

crazyelf
crazyelf

P.S. bruce,
No, there’s no way to contact that marine from the news station.

#seekingtruthandjustice
#seekingtruthandjustice

Someone needs to investigate why Ms. Graves moved the area Eastern Area office from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Philadelphia, PA in 2013 and WHAT WAS THE COST TO THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER?.

Could it be she needed to reside in PA for a year, so that she could later divorce her husband, Michael Walcoff (former USB) in 2014? Things that make you go hmmmm

As the old saying goes “When a fish stinks, it stinks from the head”!!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Just wow! McDonald is an idiot if he cannot fathom the level of corruption he is dealing with given this has gone on for years.

It makes one wonder how much the VAIG was making since they were clearly looking the other way for those years.

Reuben Castro Acosta

AGIN VETS VA ONE BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY AFGE UNION CONTRACTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ralph
ralph

Hickey, her Undersecretary, Graves, and Rubens should be prosecuted by DOJ, but it will never happen. How many veterans have to suffer or die before the Veterans Affairs Committee legislates real change.

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