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Lobbyist Fired Immediately For Involvement With Helman

Lobbyist Dennis Lewis Fired

Benjamin KrauseOne Jefferson Consulting Group lobbyist was fired almost immediately for improper involvement with Sharon Helman. Lobbyist Dennis Lewis gave improper gifts to Helman while she ran the Phoenix VA.

Lewis was Helman’s boss at VA prior to retiring. After he retired, Lewis began working for a DC lobbying firm called Jefferson Consulting Group. During that time, he provide numerous improper gifts to Helman that ultimately led to her firing.

Helman was not fired over the death of veterans or the wait list performance frauds committed under her watch. She was terminated for getting free trips to places like Disneyland and California wine country. Lewis gave her an all expenses paid trip for her and her family to Disneyland at an expense of $11,000. Helman failed to report the gift.

Jefferson Consulting provided help to government contractors wanting to bid on contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Conversely, Jefferson Consulting also gets paid by VA to help it select contractors.

Does this seem like unethical double-dipping to you?

VA kept Helman on for six months after the wait list scandal broke. Jefferson Consulting fired Lewis the day after Helman was terminated by VA. And, this termination took place three weeks after The Arizona Republic began pressing VA over emails proving Lewis was improperly gifting Helman while at Jefferson Consulting.

Julia Susman, president of Jefferson Consulting Group, said the following about the scandal:

“Our understanding is that any such gifts from Mr. Lewis to Ms. Helman were intended to be personal in nature based on their pre-existing relationship,” Susman wrote. “Nonetheless, they violated Jefferson’s long-standing ethics policy, which prohibits such gifts. After learning of this matter and collecting our evidence, Jefferson terminated Mr. Lewis’ employment.”

Read More: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/31/phoenix-va-lobbyist-fired-helman-gifts/21100291/

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20 thoughts on “Lobbyist Fired Immediately For Involvement With Helman”

  1. What do I think? I think Mr. Lewis will have other opportunities to work for the many lobbyist firms on K Street. There is evidence that he is a sly crook, so why not? Congressmen and senators don’t care, they accept money from lobbyists for their favors. How else do these “servants” of the people get rich while in office?

  2. I agree about contactinfg Bob Macdonald but will caution you about the fallout. I contacted Bob and asked for his help, the denial was swift and the message loud and clear………….. If you complain to the boss you will be punished. This came from the Phoenix Ro. The decision to deny was done by 2 beaurocrats making over $100,000 a year salarys plus bonuses. This is a fact, I have a copy of the Phoenix employee list, names titles pay and yearly bonuses.

    I don’t think these life long raters like the boss telling them how to do their job even though someone should be. Don’t give up things are changing, if you’re young enough you just might see the system working the way it was intended.

    1. Mr. McDonald gave me his “private” cell number and encouraged me to call. He also told his assistant to make sure she responded to my concerns. I have not heard from either of them despite repeated phone calls.

  3. On an unrelated topic. Has anyone had VA docs deny to fill out Social security disability questionare and is there any way legally to get it done? 3 Drs. are refusing. Va is the only longterm care provider.
    Also, VA twice asking for me to supply info on gun ownership for locks. Are we fishing here! I wish getting my medical care, etc.. was this assertive.

    1. YES! When I was going through both SSDI and VA Svc. Connected Disability Claims (I have both as of 2009/2010), I found it really CRAZY that *neither* the Social Sec. Admn. nor VA *ever* share information with each other, which made for a very further escalation of some of my health/mental issues.
      They are BOTH gov’t agencies so you would think this would not be so entirely separated from each other. I was fortunate that I had a whole team of competent *civilian Dr’s* in which it shed light on the ignorance of the VA Dr’s. I also encountered one after the other VA Dr. that REFUSED to fill out anything for Social Security so it was double duties on me but I DID successfully win both and because it’s Permanent and Total Service Connected 100% granted, I get to also receive my full SSDI and by proxy, DO NOT use the VA at all, but use Medicare and my same civilian Dr.s team.

      I would rather use a witch Dr. with a bag of chicken bones thrown to floor for my health care than EVER use the incompetent and demeaning so-called health professionals at the VA!!!
      I would not think the gun ownership would be *none* of their business. The VA must be trying to make all we Veterans out to be thugs with guns or something. Do not show them all your cards or ammunition.

      1. Namnibor, thank you for your input…very helpful! One question, you mention you “don ‘t use Va by proxy”. Can you explain? I’m trying to get out of VA system as we speak.

      2. @Dawn-
        When I stated that “I don’t use the VA by proxy”. I was referring to fact that since I also fully qualify and concurrently receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) as well as 100% P&T Svc. Connected VA Disability and *since* I have Medicare from the SSDI (I pay my premiums, everything), I use only Medicare and my private medical specialists, NOT the VA for anything.
        I am one of the rare case scenarios in which I have the absolute choice to use Medicare and my private medical team.
        Now, if I used the VA system, I would required to use Medicare as “first payer” and then the VA will “decide” if they are even going to pay what they are supposed to–usually as much as 6 months after the fact, when Medicare Providers have already sent my a$$ to collections.
        I do not need any more major headaches nor stress, so being fortunate to be able to not use the VA *al all* keeps more sane that if I had to use the VA. Many if not most Veterans, do not even have this choice unless they are of official retirement age for Social Security purposes; I am now 52 this year in age.
        Hope this made things a bit more clear. So to be clear–I am not having to “get special permission” to continue using only my civilian Dr’s in which their expertise assisted me in making the VA “Stand Down” and the evidence proved my many medical/mental conditions are definitely disabling. It’s the fact that I decided to go this route because many of my medications are not on the VA’s “formulary” and some major meds associated with rather chronic health issues that when I did try to transition to the VA years ago from my civilian Dr’s, the VA outright REFUSED to respect the medical opinions of my very civilian Dr’s and I surely would have been 6 feet under years ago had I used the VA.

  4. Just another K Street scumbag__ The only way to stop the revolving door that senior govt bureaucrats use to fleece both the tax payers and the vets is to require a long coooling off period between leaving the government and working for anyone who has anything to do with their prior employer (agency) Like five to ten years. It would be interesting to see just how many llike Helmn would get the time of day. Not nany is my guess.

    Unfortunatellly, this is not just the problem with VA managers– is is prevalent across the government, and results in many, many wired contracts in exchange for gifts, favors and promises of future employment. Also, it isn’t limited to the crats- look where the vast majority of politicians wind up whn they leave office.. Like I said, there needs to be a real reform, otherwise, it will be business as usual into the sunset. If you think I’m bitter,, you are right— for too long we the public have been getting screwed while these freeloaders laugh/ up their sleeves.

  5. Yes, let’s believe the lobbying firm had no idea where an $11k expenditure was for. The only reason he was fired is he was caught and they are hoping no one looks into other “bribes” to other VA employees. I no more believe them than I believe in unicorns,

  6. They caught 1 one, out of how many. how many are still doing this and getting away with it. The I.G.’s hotline could care less if the V.A. is hurting Veterans, as a letter I received proves. They act like complaints about they V.A. they can pick and chose which complaints they would review. “Review” They received my complaint about an employee retaliating against me and reported me to the Disruptive committee and them punishing me for Disruptive Behavior and they (the V.A. Employee) did not provide one shread of evidence and the V.A. punished me and it took me 10 years of gathering MY Evidence that proved that I had been wronged by the Employee and The IG Hotline stated that there are so many complaints that they have to pick and choose and mine was not chosen. Every Complaint deserves to be fully investigated for its merit, It is in BOB’s hands now. Lets see if someone really cares. God Bless America and all its Active duty and its Veterans, with out us they would not be able to punish us at will.

    1. Carolyn F. Wilkins

      James,

      The same thing happened to my husband and me. He was on a “wait list” almost a year, the director of the program came to our home just days before the Phoenix Scandal broke and decided to defame, vilify and lie on me and our dog. The director of the facility took the doctor’s lies and wrote letters to Senator Burr’s office and it was like they all believed this woman. Never taking into consideration my husband is an 81 year old Vietnam veteran and needed the care. But since the good doctor’s visit everything for my husband was denied from that VA. I even wonder if his claims were tampered with because he has to appeal Parkinson. Even in his medical records it points to the VA giving him drugs that also caused the Parkinsonism (Drug Induced). Want to guess who gave him the drugs. Now we have at least 3 private doctors that right away states has Parkinson. A new doctor has just started to treat him for Parkinson. This same doctor is now coming to our home to see my husband. We had to move to another state to get this help. But at least my husband is showing the meds are helping the Parkinson that the “new” private doctor has ordered. Also, my name is all over my husband’s medical records to help paint a negative picture of the caregiver/spouse, who by the way is also a service-connected disabled veteran. So two veterans denied services because of a cover-up. I know something very wrong is going on involving all the people at that VA. They were too quick to try to shut me up. I will not go away and I write and write everyone.

      1. I am proud of you, never give up if you know you are right and if you have any evidence, please wright to Bob Mcdonald. I am so sorry that you and your husband have had to go through this whole mess. Its a shame and a black eye for America when the whole world can see and hear what they do to their veterans.

      2. Carolyn F. Wilkins

        Thank you James. We are all being treated as if we are wrong for requesting benefits. However, we see how the money is paid to people like Helman and others. Thank you for servicing this great county.

        Ben has been reporting some interesting things that we might otherwise not know about. We thank you and all veterans like you who are willing to share your stories.

  7. Disabled Navy Veteran

    As with my thoughts and opinions about Tom Coburn my thoughts and opinions about Sharon Helman cannot be printed here. She knows too much, has the goods on a LOT of people senior (politicians included?) to her and therefore she won”t spend one second in the slammer. They don’t want her running at the mouth and she became the “fall guy.” That’s why she got off so easy.

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