Pay To Play, Will VA Under Secretary Nominee Be A Tool For Political Favors?

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VA Under Secretary Allison Hickey Resignation

VA is reportedly selecting a new under secretary for benefits using a review panel that includes former VA under secretary Allison Hickey for input.

According to an insider, those up for consideration before the panel are Thomas Murphy, Curtis Coy, and Al Poteet. Murphy has served as the acting under secretary and was nominated by President Obama but not confirmed to the position. He is also considered the favorite for selection under President Trump.

VA public affairs was asked for comment but did not respond prior to publication.

A lobbyist familiar with the matter believes the move to include Allison Hickey in the panel could be to thwart an attempt by Curtis Coy and those supporting him. It is well known in certain circles that Hickey had a strong distaste for Coy when she ran the agency.

With her involvement, it would be more likely to select Murphy despite a previous investigation of Murphy for wrongdoing while under her chain of command in 2014 (more on this below).

Earlier this year, Murphy reportedly indicated he was set to retire. However, these recent reports from inside the agency indicate otherwise.

RELATED: Why Was Allison Hickey Covering For Rubens, Graves?

VA Under Secretary Favors, The Graves/ Rubens Scandal

To refresh your memory, Hickey resigned immediately after press reports discussed her involvement in a relocation scheme involving Kimberly Graves and Diana Rubens.

As a favor, Hickey supported their actions that involved forcibly removing at least one subordinate to allow both women to take self-induced demotions to lead St. Paul Regional Office and Philadelphia Regional Office, respectively.

Those demotions did not result in a pay decrease but instead a responsibility decrease for the SES employees. The pay was not decreased to reflect the demotion.

As part of the scheme, Graves and Rubens accepted financial incentives for the moves even though they were not entitled to the financial support due to initiating the transitions themselves.

Basically, as a consequence of forced moves, VA will provide certain financial incentives. These women orchestrated the circumstances that required their moves and then accepted the incentives improperly.

In any world, this would amount to fraud since both women should have known better than to accept the funds improperly, but VA rarely if ever does anything against its senior leaders engaged in such activities.

In many ways, VA funding is like a trough for pigs that eat more than their share without fear of consequences ordinary Americans would face in the same circumstance.

Sloan Gibson Reprimand And Court Reversal

Both women were later reprimanded by the former deputy secretary Sloan Gibson to include forced relocation without a moving incentive and a financial penalty. However, those decisions were later reversed because Danny Pummill was involved in the scheme and promoted to take over Hickey’s position after she left.

Pummill was promoted to the slot as acting under secretary after Hickey resigned despite his involvement in the favor scheme orchestrated under Hickey’s leadership.

Since Pummill was involved and not reprimanded, VA was not allowed to reprimand either Graves or Rubens.

I guess the saying holds, “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Danny Pummill And Allegations Of Contract Steering

According to insiders, Pummill went on to allegedly steer contracts in return for political favors with the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s camp. Inside the agency, he was known in VA to be very well connected politically and anyone who stepped out against him in favor of veterans, and the law, were allegedly retaliated against.

Pummill allegedly said a college buddy was down on his luck and directed his staff to evaluate his friend’s firm for a contract. Shortly after, Pummill’s friend’s firm was awarded a contract worth millions each year.

That company was owned by Sanjay Govil, and anyone who allegedly tried to review the contract with Govil’s company received pushback from none other than Pummill. According to some Wikileaks emails, Govil allegedly made substantial contributions in support of Hillary Clinton and sought help with VA after scheduling a dinner with John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager.

Some alleged communications from this contractor and John Podesta were included in the Wikileaks email files that ultimately sunk Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

Podesta Email VA Contractor Sonjay Govil

Here are links to some other examples:

Eventually, Pummill stepped down after being suspended for his role in the Graves / Rubens debacle.

RELATED: LinkedIn – Danny Pummill At Femme Comp, Inc Chief Operations Officer

Now, Thomas Murphy holds that position as acting under secretary and is allegedly seeking to cement his position to lead VA benefits through nomination under President Trump.

RELATED: Agent Orange Denier Promoted To Head Veterans Benefits

Those familiar with the situation are concerned that Murphy will perpetuate the culture of corruption to the disadvantage of veterans and American taxpayers.

While VA OIG did clear Murphy of wrongdoing, allegations still circulate within the agency that he is implicated in some of the previous schemes that involved Pummell. He was also a donor to President Barack Obama in support of the 2008 presidential campaign and subsequently installed within VA in a leadership capacity.

Do you think this is a warranted concern?

What do you think? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?

If Murphy is nominated, will the corruption and political favors continue?

Keith
Keith

It looks like we have had these issues before over and over and nothing changes..nothing done..just run the articles to look like it might change…every vet needs to walk out…tell all your family and everyone that will listen how you have been treated…go protest…make the VA shut down and fire all the a holes and DAV and etc that make their dime off vet suffering…just enough kids …shut it down shut it down!!! https://www.law360.com/articles/30374/va-hit-with-massive-class-action

Angela
Angela

Benjamin, how is this new executive order that President Trump has signed which is a law stating that a veteran can see a doctor of their choice going to be used? In the VA? In the private sector? Can you explain the details? Or have the details been determined?
Do you have information?

namnibor
namnibor
Damn! Rubens & Graves just will not go away! Nice “Bad VA Art” today, Benjamin. Made me chuckle. As far as Thomas “Agent Orange Denier” Murphy is concerned, I do not think his ass belongs anywhere near veterans or the VA. He still refuses to acknowledge that AO is deadly, so I could see him just as likely to be a firm denier that burn pits, spent uranium, chemical spills, et al, are even bad for Veterans. THAT SLIM that… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

correction: “Are the pickings/choices THAT SLIM…”

VA IS LYING INC
VA DC HQ RATS ARE DOGS IN HEAT FOR THE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA BUDGET FOR 2017 182 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA DC HQ RATS ARE POOPING THEIR PANTIES TO GIVE THEMSELVES PERFORMANCE BONOUS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VETS JUST BEND OVER FOR THE BIG SCREW BY VA DC HQ SEWAGE RATS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
cj
cj

@VA IS LYING INC: You have been right all along, oddly enough. Not a damn thing is ever going to change in any meaningful way. Y

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@VA IS LYING INC – – – Perfect Post! On Target. To the point. Learning a lot about how to modify my own writing style from you. Thank You. @CJ – – – I see first-class educational material in these posts. Imagine. Clean up the spelling a bit – – – edit out a few $$$$$$ in order that the textual content will fit on a Billboard sign – – – place them all over America. Gotta be cheaper than… Read more »
cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: I agree. Also, I am a huge “VA IS LYING INC” fan. He says so much with so little. One efficient sniper for sure. He gets the VA in those crosshairs and, BANG!!!!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@cj – – – Agreed WRT VA IS LYING INC. Great Sniper! Always a kill shot. Never wastes ammo. Saw your other post regarding me being workhorse and sleep. Roger that. I sleep when able, but frankly not much. If I get 20 hours of sleep a week – – – I feel like I have been lazy, LOL! Sad but true. That’s how my PTSD/Anxiety work. On the plus side, I help a lot of people with a lot… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

Ben, great va bad art!!! ROFL!!!! I believe that corruption and the political favors will continue and again there will be no accountability in the va system. The va leadership is too political. No one will be prosecuted because the majority are abusing the system financially, so who would prosecute when they are all doing the same things?

namnibor
namnibor

LMAO!!! I am STILL chuckling over Ben’s ‘Bad VA Art’ today. This is a classic and am thinking it would make a great illuminated billboard but it would pose a public safety issue with the amount of impaired drivers from the giggles.
I really needed that laugh today.

James Gallegos

Only one way to fix this. Fire all of the leader ship and as shit rolls down hill. It can grab middle and lower management on the way down.

First things first, senator Johnny isakson must be blasted with veteran’s and citizen’s to contacting him and tell him to get on board and pass the VA first act.

The press is blaming him for the hold up !

Jo3n

Nothing to add. The VA makes me want to k— something. For me, this is unacceptable. Are they really wanting us to lay down and die? OK, the art is great..

Dysfunctional Doc Up
Dysfunctional Doc Up

Next improvement tool for VA ?Bonuses for most veterans exterminated. We aren’t dying fast enough and bonuses and promotions to the worst of the worst not coming fast enough .Drain the swamp has become fire the whistle blowers , kill the veterans, but be sure to say ” Have a nice day “. Gotta have that Disney world customer service .Improvement, accountability? WTF OVER ?

91Veteran
91Veteran
These friggin swamp rats are like zombies constantly returning to feed. Why is Hickey involved in this at all unless it’s at the behest of Shulkin, or someone advising Shulkin. FFS if you want to clean up corruption, you don’t make window-dressing moves then return to business as usual and let the swamp rats back in. I had a good opinion of Hickey until my eyes were opened in reading of her involvement with Rubens and Graves. She signed off… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Same ole bullshit, but only neatly stacked higher and higher. POTUS, don’t you hear what Veterans are saying? I’ll say it for them, “We don’t trust the VA leadership, and our trust is waning on you as well.” Mr. President, clean the VA’s own swamp pond. For those of you who are concerned about my health, I’m still on the fence. Taking it day, by day. DV, thanks for the check up call. I appreciate it, it means a lot.… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@ANutterVet – – – Stuck my head in just for a second. Had the e-mail just about ready, then Winsneeze went achoo! and the mailer lost it. Retyping. Few more links and it will be on its’ way. Do not wait up for it, will be there before the sun comes up – – – not sure when. Nice talking to you. Your frustrations are understood. When I voted for the man, I decided to give him one year to… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

@Disgruntled Veteran- AMEN, brother!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Nam – – – Just stuck my head in to leave a “personal for” ANutterVet. Thanks for your “Thumbs Up”. Haven’t had a chance today to read Big Ben’s article, or other Brothers/Sisters comments.

Really busy since the fire in my apartment building this past Saturday night. See you all in a few days.

Anyone wants/needs to talk – – – dial the phone. You have my number.

cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: Dammit…………………..I am voting for you next time around. Fuck the damn establishment. President Trump an outsider? LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO anyone really believe that shit? I am with @VA IS LYING INC, never was the wool pulled over his eyes. Once again voted the lessor of two evils, and fucked only half as hard. Good thing my asshole is too high, and I run to quck for these snakes in the grass to catch me.

Dennis
Dennis

Drain the swamp he said?! It looks like the swamp is filling up with poop and the gators and snakes are coming back to feast!

Angela
Angela
Hello Benjamin and all, I do not agree with any of these proposed individuals who are up for consideration for the Under Secretary of Benefits position. Benjamin, why can’t President Trump, the Trump Executive Administration (not Congressman Paul Ryan with Congress — Paul Ryan’s job approval rating is lower than Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s approval rating — any Republican that has an approval rating lower than a Democrat — well this is bad…. I mean bad……and ultimately disgraceful….) and Secretary David… Read more »
Angela
Angela

If anyone lives in Arizona, the CVS pharmaceutical company is partnering with to VA to offer health care clinic assistance. This has nothing to do with the choice proram. This is a pilot program that CVS and the VA are trying to see how it works.

Angela
Angela

For all veterans.

Dennis
Dennis

“Pay To Play, Will VA Under Secretary Nominee Be A Tool For Political Favors?”

Answer: If you ask me they all act like tools, so yes.

Jo3n
Personally, I can’t tell the difference between Republicans and democrats. I’m, not trying to ruffle anyone’s feathers, not happy at all. What happened to the ACCOUNTABILITY law? I am hoping I missed the passing. @Ben, I need a good thing to happen at the VA. Holman Rule, did THEY forget? This isn’t change, it’s a slap on the face for every Veteran. I guess I need to hear from POTUS, His definition of, “Drain the Swamp.” What’s happening in the… Read more »
LP
LP

Will they be a tool for political favors?
No, just a tool.
Hahaha

Angela
Angela
Actually, there is not much difference between the Democrats and some Republicans who are Neocons. And too the elite Republicans who are almost like the Democrats. The ones who are really appear to be for the American people are President Trump if he has been informed of all the true facts, Trump’s executive administration with including his Generals and the Freedom Caucus. Sometimes I believe President Trump is not being given all the facts particularly about the VA. And too,… Read more »
Rosebud
Rosebud

Start with trump. He needs impeached for violating the Constitution! Throw in his daughter and son-in-law. All trump cares about is himself and how much money he make. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Veterans or what happens to them. He’s a real Richard Head.

Jo3n
@Angela,, only wish I had your patience. Oh wait, I did have your patience. It’s wearing down fast. You said much of what happened over a hundred years or so. All good. I am sure our POTUS will reward you. I’m going on forty five years dealing with the VA. I’m not educated, computer illiterate, and don’t live close to anything connected to the VA. The VA is not for Veterans today, it’s killing us off with whatever means necessary.… Read more »
Angela
Angela
Jo3n, I was only including this in my writing to illustrate a contrast on how our country has deteriorated. This is nothing to do with any reward. I was saying this to show that the political system or our government used to be capitalist oriented whereas today particularly the liberals and Democrats are kicking down the door to try to implement a socialist agenda for the whole country which is what the VA already is. When I speak about freedom… Read more »
Angela
Angela
All deterioration of the culture in our country and the inhumane, unaccountable, and unethical VA healthcare system all due to Democrat policies in past years. Not the current POTUS. President Trump may not be being briefed with all facts. Afterall, many Republicans and for sure most Democrats are undermining and obstructing his agenda. He means well for all if he has all facts to work with. I honestly believe he is about prosperity and success for all aspects of this… Read more »
Angela
Angela
Further commenting- Again I say, it is not President Trump. It is the establishment in Washington DC which includes the bureaucracies like the VA, the media, the lobby types, many elite Republicans and of course most of Democrats except maybe 3 or 4. The establishment is trying to burn President Trump out where he will collapse and turn his base against him. The establishment wants to globalize, open borders, single payer healthcare for whole country, socialism like Venezuela which has… Read more »
LP
LP

Hmm…check this out
“http://taskandpurpose.com/exclusive-gi-bill-reform-memorial-day/?utm_source=exclusive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=gibill”

Reads like someone is trying to fuck over lower enlisted…at a minimum.

namnibor
namnibor

The new proposed reformed G.I. Bill better not be a change in order to exclusively funnel Veterans into Trump University. Just saying… 🙂 It could happen.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Namnibor – Yes that’s right. New information reveals that if the newbies sign on the dotted line for a 4 year stint, they will be able to attend China’s Premier Dumpling University, and will be fully ward robed with Ivanka Trump’s Mens Clothing Line. Ok, wait a second young man, . . ., OK, next, . . . sign right here, bitch.

I got to get this dam pent up stress out. Is that OK with you?

cj
cj

@ANutterVet,@Ex va,@lily: You guys around?

cj
cj

@OLDMARINE: OLDMARINE, I haven’t seen you around in a while, this is not like you. I hope all is good in your neck of the woods.

cj
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: DV, damn your a workhorse, sleep when you get a chance. You are one deadly focused man.

Singleshotone
Singleshotone
I stated in previous responses that a corrupt VA is eternal. No matter who is appointed to ANY position in the VA, it will be political favor, plain and simple. The only way the VA will become veteran friendly and dedicated, is to clean house from top to bottom, that is from VA secretary to the janitor, no question…. That is abandon and shut down the VA in its entirety, reestablish it in another name or agency killing the union.… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: Are you here?

cj
cj

@Ex va,@ANutterVet,@lily: Been a very long day, and I can’t keep my eyes open. Talk soon. hope you all sleep well. God Bless you all and your families. Goodnight.

Jo3n

@Angela, Truly appears to me, and others here who have read your comments, you are redefining the Constitution and telling me that it’s what was meant to be. I can tell you are way more educated than I. Your comments left me wondering what the hell was I fighting in other Countries, when the real war is here. Good luck with your new government.

Angela
Angela
No I am not redefining the Constitution. I am saying Liberals and Democrats have lost their minds. We do not need Socialism nor any aspect of Communism. If the Liberals and Democrats have power, the country in due time is going to collapse. If you would like to become like North Korea or Venezuela, then one needs to support a liberal or a Democrat because that is what they are all about. They stand by SHARIA Law and with Sharia… Read more »
Rosebud
Rosebud

How about some facts kitty cat instead of your rant.

cj
cj

And you think Bitch Hillary would have been better asshole? What’s the matter Rosebud, don’t want to get deported? Stick your political crap back up your ass snowflake.
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Rosebud
Rosebud

Hey thanks cj for those nice comments to a fellow veteran. You didn’t comment at all when Angela was going on and on about how great our toxic narcissist in the Whit House is. Good on you. Once again no opposing opinions allowed or you will get attacked.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Rosebud – – – Angela is allowed to speak her mind. She provides valuable historical narrative to this community that quite well illustrates how while we as young men were fighting our battles overseas – – – the “enemy” snuck in behind us and invaded our country. The “enemy” being the ideas put forth by our elected officials (All Political Parties) that over many years – – – have led to the current clusterfuck that we now ALL have to… Read more »
touchavet@gmail.com

is the pope catholic? Nothing in the political world happens without some payoff, pay back or greasing of the palms

Vassilis Margaris
Vassilis Margaris
Ben Do you remember One of the “Hercules strangles” from the Greek Mythology? When was tasked to clean The stables of Afgia ? That’s exactly what we need to do with the VA (Both VBA and Health Care) 1. Cut down ALL bonuses (these people they don’t deserve bonuses for SCREWING UP Veterans and their Families, They deserve CRIMINAL prosecution!) 2. Cut down ALL SES positions and give it to GS -14, GS-15s! Preferably with Senior NCO careers and education!… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Vassilis Margaris – – – The current, continuous push to show the VA as a model Healthcare system is highly disturbing. My gut tells me this is all about giving the VA a facelift on the same old witch. More Lies and Deception. FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA: 1. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations. 2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee. 3. Sell… Read more »
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