Deputy Director Fired, Arkansas Vets Exploited
Another key official within the Veterans Affairs arena was recently fired. This official allowed service disabled veterans to be exploited, since 2010.
Lawrence Pickard was terminated because he did not enforce the law. He knew of illegal events occurring at the Arkansas Veterans Home, and that those events were in violation of federal regulations.
The violations will now cost the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs $587,000. The money is for fees improperly collected from service-disabled veterans.
The regulation violated was 38 CFR Part 51.41: Per diem for certain veterans based on service-connected disabilities.
KARK 4 News had a copy of part of Pickard’s termination letter.
Transcript of Pickard’s termination letter:
A communications dated Dec 2, 2010 has surfaced that confirms you were aware of a violation at Arkansas Veterans Home of 38 CFR 51.41. Yet, as Deputy Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, you did not take action to correct the situation.
This action has lead to the agency being responsible for the repayment of approximately $587,000 maintenance fees improperly collected from specific service disabled veterans.
This infraction is a Class A offense as described in ADVAP 2-1, Attach 2, page 1: Willful violations of State or Federal laws which pertain to the operations or business interests of the Agency.
Accordingly, your employment status with the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is terminated effective immediately.