Diana Rubens Mocks Congress Over Fraud Investigation

113

Diana Rubens

Benjamin KrauseVA insiders report Philadelphia director Diana Rubens walked around the facility laughing at yesterday’s House Committee hearing about her pay fraud scheme, mockingly telling co-workers to “enjoy the show.”

“Phila VA co-worker [redacted] reports Director Diana Rubens walking around Phila VA @ 0820 this morning (WEDS 21 OCT) mocking today’s Congressional Hearings, laughing and telling VA employees, ‘Enjoy the show.’”

Yesterday, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing focusing on the unlawful Permanent Change of Station (PCS) pay scheme of the current director of troubled Philadelphia Regional Office (RO). The hearing confirmed that under secretary Allison Hickey was involved. It also confirmed that the former Philadelphia RO director was forced out so that Rubens could take the position that she volunteered for prior to demanding moving incentive pay.

RELATED: VA OIG Travel Pay Scheme Investigation

Apparently, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) under the leadership of under secretary Hickey, inappropriately used the VA PCS program to provide pay increases and bonuses despite clear laws forbidding bonuses and pay increases.

@deptvetaffairs #VAnepotism needs to end. #VAisLying Click to Tweet

BACKGROUND OF PCS PAY SCANDAL

The tall and short of the scheme is that Rubens pushed Robert McKenrick out of his position as Philadelphia RO director to Los Angeles that separated him from his children. McKenrick is a two tour Iraq War veteran.

Rubens then coordinated with under secretary Hickey to ensure she took over the Philadelphia RO job. Keep in mind, Rubens herself created the vacancy by moving McKenrick to Los Angeles. OIG revealed the following emails from March, 2014:

  • Rubens, email dated March 20, 2014: “I talked with him (Mr. Pummill) this morning about my desire to take advantage of the Philly Director opening. For me.” (Emphasis added.)
  • Hickey, email dated March 20, 2014: “I think the world of you and will support you any way you need … Please know that in this decision for you–I will be all in to help and make it happen. (Emphasis added.) I would like to talk to you about it all to understand better if I could have helped before now to take better care of you.”
  • Hickey, email dated March 21, 2014: “When can I expect to see Philly open?”

In April 2014, Rubens requested a real estate market analysis of the value of her home. OIG concluded this showed she already knew the ball was in motion to move her to Philadelphia even though McKenrick had not yet vacated his position.

On May 5, 2014, then chief of staff Riojas requested approval to reassign Rubens from Deputy Under Secretary for Field Operations to the position of Philadelphia RO director. That same day, he sent a memo to request approval for reassignment of McKenrick to Los Angeles. Riojas approved Rubens’ move six days before approving McKenrick’s move.

The shocking nepotism here is obvious. Rubens’ package was approved before McKenrick had an opportunity to review his reassignment package or accept it. He was clearly forced into a different role without fair consideration to benefit one of Hickey’s buds.

On May 27, 2014, Rubens then accepted for the position she had a hand in creating but two days later demanded moving pay incentives totaling $274,000 on top of her $181,000 salary. She also created a GS-14 telework job for her girlfriend, Kimberly Beale, so the couple could move together. Within the $274,000, Rubens was reimbursed for meals and tips during her PCS move totaling $13,062.

Allison Hickey’s involvement included her doing what she could to support Rubens’ move and the relocation of McKenrick. When the Los Angeles RO vacancy came open, none of the more qualified applicants were selected. Instead, Rubens pushed McKenrick, a lesser qualified VA director, to take the position against his wishes. Rubens then lied about whether McKenrick wanted the position. She claimed he wanted to go, while McKenrick stated he did not want to go because it would separate him from his children.

Last April, under secretary Hickey issued a letter to Congress justifying the PCS pay and job creation. That same letter also justified Rubens’ creation of a GS-14 telework position for, Kimberly Beale. According to those familiar with the situation, Beale has been Rubens’ girlfriend for years, and the creation of the position allowed Beale to move with Rubens to Philadelphia. VA leadership can easily create a GS-13 or GS-14 job with little oversight, which explains while the new position involved a demotion from GS-15.

RELATED: Hickey Letter About Kimberly Beale Job Creation

Problems at Philadelphia RO have not ceased since Rubens took over. Her staff has continued to hammer whistleblowers. Many VA cronies believe whistleblowers only detract from the work VA is supposed to do. Rubens is no different and has relentlessly harassed whistleblowers at her facility including putting some of them on unpaid leave while she is clearly overpaid. Ironic.

DIANA RUBENS PCS INCENTIVE PAY BREAKDOWN

  • Subsistence and temporary expenses: $15,812.50
  • Real estate expenses: $29,966.20
  • Relocation income tax allowance: $15,291.00
  • Permanent duty travel – non-taxable: $33.80
  • Permanent change of station meals: $60.40
  • Permanent duty travel – taxable: $33.80
  • Shipment of household goods and personal effects: $11,678
  • Storage of household goods – first 30 days: $11,768.00
  • Relocation services paid to vendor: $211,750.00
  • VA financial services center service charge (6%): $12,705.00

Rubens home was valued at $700,000 and did not sell within 60 days of putting it on the market. So, under the relocation plan, the vendor received $211,750 to take the home.

KIMBERLY BEALE CAREER BACKGROUND

Kimberly Beale started working at VA as a GS-7 in 2004 at Phoenix RO. She was promoted to GS-9 in 2005; GS-11 in 2006. In 2008, she received another promotion to GS-12 and moved to VBA headquarters in Washington DC. After moving, she met and began dating Diana Rubens. By 2013, she received various promotions up to GS-15.

Apparently, she elected for a demotion to GS-14 to facilitate taking the telework position Rubens created to work on the Veterans Business Management System from her home. However, rumors are circulating that Rubens set up the job in Washington DC to allow Beale to collect DC metro pay incentives despite living in Philadelphia with Rubens.

It is clear Diana Rubens violated numerous laws. What do you think DOJ will do when they fully investigate the allegations against her?

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify me of
namnibor
namnibor

When you read *only* this from above; “[Within the $274,000, Rubens was reimbursed for meals and tips during her PCS move totaling $13,062.]”, keep in-mind that the 2014 Poverty Threshold for -1- Individual is $11,770. Had the Supreme Court made the ruling earlier and Rubens and Beale had been legally married at that time-frame in 2014, that Poverty Threshold for -2- Individuals in Household is $15,930.

It’s alarming that just for total in *MEALS and TIPS* she ALONE made a “claim” of $13,062…..for freaking MEALS and TIPS?

I guess eating conservatively with Tax Payer $$$ is out of the question!! Were they ONLY eating at 4 and 5 Star Restaurants?

Meanwhile, this “schema” totally threw a War Veteran under the bus against his wishes AND separated him from his children….WTF???

All those various expenses claimed, incentives, to include TAX INCENTIVES, PLUS seeing what her “Base Pay” plus what her “Created Position To Work From Home For Her Partner amounts to”, they are making INSANE $$$…before really even taking into consideration of all the claimed and paid relocation expenses and incentives….and these are the same ILK that act as if it’s coming out of their pocket when and if any given Veteran may receive 100% Svc. Connected Income, which $2,906. a month x 12 months= $34,872., which is chump-change compared to what Rubens/Beale make and made off with.

If this story that’s starting to implode upon them does not display the chasm of disconnect between VA and Veteran and how they have made the VA be Employee-Centric…rather than Veteran-Centric, as it’s supposed to be, I do not know what else would.

Now, am I clear in understanding that Robert McKenrick was the Philly VARO Chief that the VA OIG disciplined for the inspection that showed Veteran Mail discarded, Vet Claim Files designated for shredding, and rat/rodent as well as serious security issues found? If so, were these things fabricated to push him out for this elaborate schema?

Sorry, but Hickey is definitely implicated and Sec. McDonald HAD to KNOW! Or…is this a case of Hickey purposefully keeping McD out of the loop or is that the picture being painted?

Ruben’s mockery of the hearing to and around her fellow VA employees just place emphasis on fact THE VA UPPER MANAGEMENT (all GS-10’s and above) REQUIRE AN ENEMA!

This makes my blood boil. Nepotism on STEROIDS! Will the DOJ go after them with teeth? I certainly hope so.
A BUNCH of these type of upper management need fired without benefits, even jailed, to send a ripple of an example of ramifications of criminal behavior!

Rant over. I just wanted to point out the poverty threshold to place emphasis on how many much lessor fortunate Veterans make, and if Homeless, well, that Poverty Threshold $$ amount would alone go a very long way for a Homeless Veteran.

You wait for it…here’s my prediction: If charges are attempted to be pushed on both Ruben and/or/both Beale as well…they will then proceed in no time to file a Sexual Discrimination Suit against the VA and DOJ…just wait for it…this is way far from over.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Namnibor, between the two of them they both would have made over $300,000 a year in salary alone. As for the cushy, stay at home job, that was likely created to justify her grade level. They likely decided they couldn’t push another 14 out, so they made something up. Somebody approved that, and there are likely policies for her checking in with someone to prove she was working, along with work product that can be measured. I would like to see that documentation to see if girlfriend had a no-show, no-work job.

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

Ben Asks:

“It is clear Diana Rubens violated numerous laws. What do you think DOJ will do when they fully investigate the allegations against her?”

Personally I believe they will do very little because Diana Rubens knows about the skeletons in the closet at the VA.

One only needs to look as far as the DOJ’s mishandling of their most iconic case investigated by the DOJ to know that they will mishandle any investigation against Rubens. Their most iconic case was the Anthrax Letters.

crazyelf
crazyelf

@Seymour,
I believe IF Rubens were to be “handcuffed and led away like a common criminal”, she might start “singing”.
Let the chips fall where they may. VA is a corrupt government entity. DOJ needs to do what is right by veterans and taxpayers. If they don’t, then all will be lost.

namnibor
namnibor

Exactly! E-5’s and below and all weathered and effective D.I.’s placed in charge…and use the VA as a PROPER Active Military to Civilian Training Transitional Job Program set-up with the VA System!

This is what the VA really needs. Vets ‘Get It’! Respect, Honor, Leadership, and using that standardization we have for many military bases, any branch…bring that standardization and discipline to the VA…at all levels.

None of us want to “destroy or hurt the VA”, we simply want it cleaned-up and held accountable…and follow the laws and regs already in place.

Can you imagine the Oppressive work environment these people in question bring with them wherever they go? Hitler’s Youth grown-up.

crazyelf
crazyelf

@namnibor, how about “buck & staff sargents” being put in charge? And only ones who had been D.I.’s for an extended period. Ones that could bring “Fear of God” into “managements” hearts.

namnibor
namnibor

Leavenworth. No ‘Martha Stewart Corporate Holiday Spa @ Paris, France VA Hotel’…nope, A Regimen -Strict -Every-Day-Is-Basic-Training–Leavenworth Hell.
Let her cellmate be “Large Marge” from “Pee Wee’s Great Adventure”…LMAO!

Question: Why was it so imperative that Rubin’s get a stay at home via computer only high paying job? Stay at home? Did they adopt? More questions that I hope get addressed…maybe like you have repeatedly said, something really BIG will have to happen that is like flutter of butterflies wings that starts the pealing back of Pandora’s Box of corruption and clean up the VA and start placing Honorably Discharged Veterans in all jobs…and with an emphasis on Enlisted folk, as the West Point thinking is not exactly Veteran Friendly as of late…I recall a Dan Gade occasionally came on here saying how Veterans and Disability Comp. is the problems…and it would be more of the same.
Start placing now, and replacing now, Veterans in VA jobs everywhere…use the Voc Rehabilitation Education Program to even train Vets to take phys. assist. nurses, radiology tech, to even surgeons.

Or am I thinking way to logically in my own Utopia here? Anyone agree with my suggestions? Are they too off?

We need to happen at the VA widespread, what Pres. Reagan did to the striking Air Traffic Controllers. YOU ARE FIRED!

Michael newman
Michael newman

And I’ve waited two years for the va to send my med records to my attorneys? I’m just gonna sue the va & be done with it!

crazyelf
crazyelf

I agree, this is far from over.
The VA and DOJ will more than likely have some form of “discrimination suit” filed against them (If they go ahead with indictments).
What I don’t understand is, why doesn’t McKenrick start “singing like a canary”? He definitely has ’cause’ to do so. He probably has a lot of “dirt” he can bring up about VA’s “dirty little laundry list”!
For Rubens to go around the “Halls of Congress” “laughing and mocking” our Congressional Leaders is abhorrent. Of course, I can see why she did. Has anyone seen that (alleged) Committee do anything to anyone? They evidently haven’t “grown a pair”, or are afraid to confront them. Probably believing they will be the center of a “discrimination suit” also!
Why hasn’t Obama stepped in and confronted McDonald over this? Why hasn’t that (so called) Committee subpoenaed Hickey? Just because she retired, doesn’t mean she can’t be held accountable for her involvement in this fiasco.
If this continues with NO indictments, then VA’s upper crust will continue to violate every law there is. They already believe their “above the law” anyway! I believe God will punish them in the “hereafter”! But I’d like to see them punished in the “here and now”!

namnibor
namnibor

Yes, some “Earthly Justice” is most appropriate. I also think McKenrick should be singing like a canary, as crazyelf said, especially considering their sceme separated him from his children and what all that entailed.

The VA system of upper management perks as well as employee “performance bonuses” need to be suspended indefinitely. We are after all in a state of Budget Sequestration and IF we Veterans as well as Active Military as well as Retirees and Disabled on Social Security are NOT receiving any COLA, then just HOW THE HELL do they justify continuation of “Performance Bonuses”?

How can Sec. McDonald be repeated asking for more money and even STEALING $$$ from the Choice Program when they have this level of financial abuse of Tax Dollars…and this is just but -1- situation with these two or three outrageous relocation expenses and manipulation of job positions and I guarantee this is a systemic problem!

If a TRUE independent AUDIT of the whole VA…a truly independent one performed by country of Switzerland or something entirely not connected to the VA, all these things would be found and line them up and on their way to making license plates at Leavenworth…

Obama’s DOJ is currently doing the biding of the NAACP in going after police whom shot thugs…fact. I highly doubt this will rise an eyebrow.

VETERAN LIVES MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If this were a few years back, I would go as far as IMPEACH OBAMA for enabling and supporting FAILED VA Leadership and his full support and backing of these crooks makes HIM one two…after all, McD and Hickey answer to the POTUS.

namnibor
namnibor

@Seymour Klearly– THANKS. I KNEW that was the very same McKenrick. The Plot thickens and how the worm turns!

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

It has been stated in comments on another article on McKenrick move to LA that he received $326,000 in relocation pay.

As for McKenrick talking. Not going to happen.

McKenrick was in charge of Philly when they circumvented the procedures put in place in 2008 to prevent shredding of claim files and he did the same thing as soon as he got to LA.

namnibor
namnibor

@crazyelf-
You and I think very closely alike because I was *just* going to post that exact question and you did it firstly.
What I wonder if any, relocation allowance, was done in a further disparaging way, and without trying to pry and get ‘too personal’ I have to ask what the situation was with his being separated from his kids…was that for visitations on certain days via a divorce or separation, and is this the same guy or an entirely different Philly VARO or was it a Philly VAMC where the records were in shred bins, thousands of Veteran Claim/Medical files in basement with mold and entire basement as well as hospital/cnter was rat infested and that director via a VA OIG inspection simply had that guy sent to D.C. firstly which actually was a promotion and was getting trained there, then he was reportedly on this forum by a Vet now out in California, Log. Angeles VA and caught having vet files in shred bins there as well?
Or…two separate individuals? If the 2-Tour OIF Vet that got sent against his wishes for this scheme is a “good guy”, I certainly do not want to vilify him and in all due respect accordingly…but there are a few questions needed asked in order to see all dimensions of this pile of shit of scandal on the operating table at this time…and I bet if the $$$ were really folloed, it all is coming from that “Large Sucking Sound” from the Colorado Money Pit Black Hole Project.
Pandora’s Box is opening.

“The Sleeper Awakens”– ‘Dune’, Frank Herbert

(Yes, I am an USAF nerd)

crazyelf
crazyelf

@namnibor,
P.S. or should I say, “Hush Money”?

crazyelf
crazyelf

@namnibor,
This question needs an answer also. What did McKenrick receive in the way of a “Relocation Pay”?
VA should answer that as well!

crazyelf
crazyelf

P.S.
If I were on that Congressional Committee and had learned what Rubens had said yesterday morning. There would no longer be any discussions. I would have tried my best to have her in handcuffs by late yesterday afternoon.
Again, that committee is performing like weak minded individuals. Grow a pair DAMNIT…..

Betty
Betty

I am not all suprised by this! The VA will close ranks to take care of their own! It is a Hell hole. The leadership sucks and cater to civilian employees. Mean while as veterans we can’t even get a job at the VA. Even with a Masters degree we may obtain a GS 5 or 6. The VA disgusts me!

Lloyd Best
Lloyd Best

kudos Betty..
your right

Steven
Steven

Betty said “The leadership sucks and cater to civilian employees”. Really? Then why aren’t those employees getting bonuses, raises, benefits that everyone is complaining about? I think people are confusing the good old boy network that includes Ruebens, Graves, McCoy etc with being a civilian.

Betty Smith
Betty Smith

Lloyd:
As a lowly paid veteran (GS-6) working for the VA, it was obvious that I was being discriminated against by my supervisor and Chief. It was proven. Our supervisor told us 3 veterans on our first day that they didn’t want to hire us but would rather hire the civilian temps. She also stated that the VA was stupid for hiring veterans that need training when there are civilians that can do the job. Granted, all 3 veterans had Masters and Bachelor degrees and the Civilian Supervisor did not. When I was fired without cause, I filed a complaint with the VA EEO. The EEO rep closed ranks with my bosses, she was also civilian.

She pretended to be so concerned for me. She tricked me and I signed a resignation so my record wouldn’t be damaged (supposedly). As a result, I was unable to win my case or get my job back, it was horrible. After the Inspector General investigation, the EEO rep was moved to another position and my boss was moved to another position for a couple of months and was later placed back in her position as Chief. They all still work at the VA. I think they are GS 12 and 13. They don’t worry about being fired because they have a license to do as they please without repercussions and it is so unfair to veterans. I was really damaged as result of that experience. Let’s not even discuss the medical treatment that veterans receive at that VA. It is horrible!

ronald
ronald

I don’t know why everybody so shocked this has been going on for years Congress is in on it to that money trail goes all the way to the White House

namnibor
namnibor

I may smell Troll already this morning. It’s curdling my coffee. Notice how those that justify corruption almost always addressing it in the “well, everyone is doing it”?
With no qualification of such a bold blanket statement.

Poser Hunter
Poser Hunter

That is a bold claim, what proof do you have to back up such a statement?

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

Poser Hunter have you not read any new papers or watched the news in the last few years?

Poser Hunter
Poser Hunter

I can’t see how Discrimination applies to this situation at all! It is Diana Rubens who has discriminated against others by illegally fixing a job position for herself and stealing a quarter million US dollars. To top it all off she then hooks up her girlfriend with a cozy job all at the expense of taxpayers. This is insane while veterans are suffering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It doesn’t surprise me at all that Rubens was mocking Congress yesterday at work. This is where she has the authority and controls many others. It must be a living hell to work for a person like this. If you don’t stroke her ego and go along with her every wish I’m sure there is hell to pay.

Diana Rubens should be removed from her SES job immediately, simply because the OIG has found her guilty of these abuses. The OIG is the standard as to which Departments such as the VA must adhere to. It makes no sense whatsoever that this criminal is still ordering people around at the VA!

FIRE HER NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

namnibor
namnibor

I know what you are saying regarding ‘discrimination claims’., but considering they are a ‘couple’, the way people are litigious and cunning these days, and we already know they are, it would not surprise how such a discrimination suit out of this could come if Rubens or her partner claim “PTSD” or “Other Stressor Unnamed”, you can see where I was going with that. People have this sense of entitlement these days, it’s really hard to define, even when they break the law…Rubens could be really evil and try to make Hickey look worse in order to make her look better…sociopathic behavior is cunning.

Popping popcorn for this.

crazyelf
crazyelf

To all,
Here’s what “The New York Times” had as their “title” yesterday.
It’s a must read.

“V.A. Won’t Let 5 Officials Testify, Antagonizing Congress”
by Dave Philipps
Oct. 21, 2015

As my wife would say about this committee, “Oh, Poor Babies”!
As far as I’m concerned, that Congressional Committee needs to grow a pair.
“Antagonizing” them? How about getting angry and pissed. Do something now, not months from now?!

namnibor
namnibor

Those self-serving congressional committee a$$e$ may actually try to snow this all over by the whole VERY *convenient* Speaker Of The House/Paul Ryan Fiasco currently going on…and then there’s the whole DoD/Defense Budget Fiasco with President Veto looming…this thing better not disappear.

We need to be compulsively barraging various news outlets with this crap. On it.
Why are these hearings not televised on that CSPAN or whatever cable channel? Or are they? Or is the VA never on those live feeds? If not, why not?

Members of this Congressional Committee better “bother themselves with this matter”, or they too will be considered part of covering up fraud. Right?

crazyelf
crazyelf

@namnibor, as of today. My wife has over 500 followers on Twitter. Just ONE of her “friends” is a vet, with over 530 followers. Many, and I do mean many, are retwitting this, and many other articles (it grows exponentially, brother) concerning these “mismanagement of justice” to all Congressional leaders, Mr. Trump, Obama, Rep. Roby, others in Congress & the Senate and many news medias.
If this continues, more news medias will become aware of it.
“Operation Shame on VA” is working. I can feel it in my bones. We all must keep the pressure on. Use whatever means available. Don’t let VA up for air, so to speak. Let them know, we know ALL the scandals that are still plaguing VA! Don’t forget the one in Phoenix right now concerning (4) “the four dead vets” due to lack of care at Urology.

crazyelf
crazyelf

Correct on every point, namnibor!
You and I DO think alike.
I remember an old saying from my father’s generation, it probably is older, “Those who do nothing, ARE as guilty as those doing the illegal acts!”
If people don’t start containing Congress and the Senate over this, I’m ashamed of them!

Retired VA'er proud of my service
Retired VA'er proud of my service

This is all very sad. We, long retired, VAer’s were proud of our agency and our work to serve veterans. Jessie Brown made VA the No.1 place to work in the federal government. He strongly supported the rank and file. What seems to have happened is that the 1% at the top have rewarded themselves over and over again through the last 10 plus years while the 99% dedicated employees, get little or no thanks or bonuses for their hard work. VA needs to reverse this. VA needs to promote from within based on skills and performance and reduce the number of political appointees—It really does take years to learn the business lines in VA. Yes, we all raised our eyebrows and scratched our heads watching Kim Graves rise…rather quickly…through the ranks, marry Mike Walcoff, and that he was actually her boss. Regarding Beale, if she is physically located in Philly, she cannot receive DC benefits. Also, even if she took a downgrade, did she retain her 15 salary? i.e., a 14-10 is about equal to a 15-5 salary. Put the control of the offices back in the hands of the 13s, 14s, and some 15s and grow them as ethical, moral, and dedicated future bosses. Like Jessie did. Thank you for your reporting and your service.

bruce wallace
bruce wallace

With thousands of homeless veterans at no fault of their own, countless thousands of veteran claims put into broom closets and thrown down elevator shafts and left unprocessed for decades, accidentally shredded, left in desk drawers for years, and so on, and I mean vets who have done everything from had their spine crushed offloading trucks on active duty to losing limbs in combat, VA worker’s monthly paychecks are plenty, no bonuses are needed. Why should anyone get a bonus for doing their job right, and who is to say they really did it right in the first place, especially since we know of the VA habit of giving bonuses for fraudulent reasons and for reasons and methods that specifically harm veterans. Sorry, but your comments come across as infiltrative if not outright trollish. This is a pro-vet site, not a pro-VA employee site. The crazy love letter thing Hickey sent out when she resigned in disgrace this week was probably believed by a lot of VA employees. It is a giant lie. You and your comments are suspect.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I don’t see him as a troll Bruce but someone who worked at the VA long ago when the mismanagement and corruption was not as blatant and rampant as it is now. Back then you could write a letter to Jesse Brown and actually get a reply. I did. I am not saying the VA was great back then, but it was much better than now. Back then when you ran into nasty attitudes, you could get help locally. Now every VA employee has that nasty attitude, or are too scared to do anything. It took 7 years and 3 denials for my claim to be adjudicated properly so as I said, it wasn’t great, at all, but there were those you could find that would help. You certainly didn’t have them laughing at Congress.

namnibor
namnibor

So, right-on, Bruce! A person doing their job correctly and following the law makes more than enough on their VA Salary alone. They do NOT need or require bonuses.
Bonuses have been the tunnel-vision goal of VA Employees, and trampling over alive and dead Vets to get them.
“Performance Bonuses” at a time of Budget Sequestration is simply insane and any other time as well. Seems to be nothing but a motivator for illegal treatment of Veterans and pissing in face of the American Tax Payer.

Shame on you “Retired VA’er” for your ignorance and all those you have infected that ignorance with.

The Bar is obviously not set very high for VA employees when they can make a mockery of the system and turn a huge profit while doing so.

VA Trolls you are on notice to reexamine why the VA exists in first place….yes, now, VA Troll, now that you have been caught in cookie jar…the correct answer is..”For Veterans”, not “VA Employees” as you keep thinking is correct.

Punishment should be in a hell-hole combat zone for a few years…then…and only MAYBE would these VA employee trolls “get it”…but I have a feeling they would be the first to scream, “My Feets Hurt”, and pull the rest of the Unit down with them.

See, that’s the thing “Retired VA’er”–any Unit is as strong as it’s WEAKEST LINK. Despicable Entitled Degenerates~!

Seymour Klearly
Seymour Klearly

Retired VA’er,

Although much of what you have said is true the problems at the VA have been going on a lot longer than 10 Years. It is also not only the top 1% that are the problem.

Retired VA'er proud of my service
Retired VA'er proud of my service

Folks, Stand Down and address the problem! VA employs over 240,000 folks. They are the world leader in prosthetics and many other areas, and their Drs are recipients of the Nobel Prizes in medicine. The overwhelming majority of VAers are dedicated to our Nation’s Vets.

Now address the problem. Corruption at VA’s top level, that some of you have said has trickled down the line. I said more than 10 years, some of you weighed in and said well more than 10 years, and you are right. I guess, from my experience, it only got so much worse in the past 10-15 years. We worked long and hard for our vets only to be passed over for promotions while the 1% moved their friends up and received crazy bonuses.

The rank and file lost their initiative and cause along the way while watching all of this. We no longer mattered. We watched as “some people” rose through the ranks at rocket speed while we sat in 10 years or more in our grade, regardless of our BA or MS or experience.

But we stayed. We stayed because of our dedication to our mission- our Vets.

So what happened to VA and how can we fix this problem?

Regarding the issue at hand, I would suggest the HVAC subpoena Chuck DeCoste, former VA SESer and request that he explain his relationship, if any, with Kimberley Graves who was a 14 and then promoted to a 15 under his direction. Then the HVAC should subpoena Mike Walcoff and have him explain his relationship with Kimberley Graves before and after their marriage and her rise in positions during this time. Ms. Graves should also respond to questions as to whether VA purchase a home for her in TN.

The HVAC should then subpoena and ask if Ms. Beale retained her salary while taking a job of less responsibility and telecommuting.

That Rubens allegedly mocked Congress just sad. If true, she should be removed immediately. It is one thing to disagree with the OIG, Repubs or Dems., but to mock our Congress is unforgivable and not in line with the pledge of gov’t employees to our Constitution.

Again, VA needs to significantly reduce the political appointments and SESers. Put the management of VA back in the hands of VAers-grow the 13s-15s–ethics, morals, commitment.

A house divided cannot stand.

crazyelf
crazyelf

@Retired,
Evidently you worked for someone who really cared.

Only your very misinformed over a lot of “historical information” concerning the “graft, corruption, lack of transparency & accountablity plaguing VA”. Since the 1920’s. For example, did you know President Harding was caught choking the head of VA in the White House? That the “head” had made a 100 year contract, and many other contracts, with a “floor polish company” that may still be in effect today?! I, and many others, have put this, and many other “historical facts” on this and other sites for months.
In my opinion, VA has never been “veteran-centric”. They have always been a protaganistic toward a majority of veterans.

Answer these, why are so many veterans complaining about VA? Why are so many veterans turning “Whistleblower”? Why does VA employees, from top to bottom, believe it’s necessary to destroy files, hide files, refuse to process files, makeup false wait lists, cause so many “medical malpractice suits”, “infect veterans with incurable diseases”, allow veterans to die waiting for appointments???
This list could go on. Only, I believe, you get the point!!!!

namnibor
namnibor

Yes, there’s definitely some “trickle down corruption” because these “1%”, as you claim, directly affect the very employees that work for and with them and through active and rabid intimidation to VA Whistleblowers, as one example, the crap slides downwards. This also applies to the personnel behind the desk that ignore you and then they cannot type because they have 6 inch nails and answering texts instead taking care of Vets…same for *some* medical staff all way to Dr.’s…some…not all, but enough that it is in no way only a 1% problem…this is very generous when saying it’s no more than a 45% problem in my opinion and experience.
“Nurse Ratchet” exists in multiples at many a VAMC…there’s good ones too.

People follow by example and are lead by same. Those 1% have “infected” many.

Greg Parsons
Greg Parsons

Diana Rubens, who oversees benefits for veterans within the Philly VARO should be indicted as an accessory to homicide, 5 counts in the case of 100% disabled Marine, Bradley Stone! For more on that heinous December 2014 crime go to http://touch.mcall.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82292888/

Ms. Rubens failed to oversee the duties & responsibilities of her DIRTY Office of Regional Counsel regarding protection of disabled vets’ VA compensation benefits awards pursuant to Title 38 Part 14.  Various state and commonwealth family law associations hire LOBBYISTS to payoff the Office General Counsel in order to keep the 1987 Rose v. Rose U.S. Supreme Court case as Status Quo, even though 38 U.S.C. Section 211(a) was repealed and rewritten in 1991.  Section 511(a) is the law of the land now.  See ANESTIS v U.S. 6th Circuit of Appeals

Homicidal disabled Marine, Bradley Stone, who became motivated after he was having almost 30% of his VA award stolen from him by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and given to his drug addicted ex-wife without a proper Apportionment claim submission by the PA Title IV-D Agency as directed by federal directive IM-98-03.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/financial-support-for-children-from-benefits-paid-by-veterans-affairs

Stone was not retired with U.S.M.C. and therefore could not, by definition, have waived a portion of retired pay in order to receive his VA award. (see 42 U.S.C. Section 659(a) & (h)(1)(B)(iii))

38 CFR 3.458(g) was completely ignored by Pennsylvania & Philly VARO Regional Counsel and demonstrates that Stone never received proper due process in his contentious child support hearings.

In 1986, the old VA along with DoJ properly came to the legal aid of distressed disabled vet Henry Kee in the VA v. Kee Texas Supreme Court case:

http://law.justia.com/cases/texas/supreme-court/1986/c-4376-0.html

OGC now simply tells all disabled vets caught up in the adversarial family courts, ‘Rose v. Rose is Status Quo & you are on your own to fight the state or commonwealth’! Stone fought his selected domestic enemies the way he was trained by U.S.M.C. And Ms. Rubens needs to be held accountable for this needless reprehensible crime that far overshadows any financial shenanigans she may have pulled with the American taxpayers.

LT(j.g.) Greg Parsons U.S. Navy, PDRL

Vassilis Margaris
Vassilis Margaris

Disgusting !
B____S in love with each other!

MSG VAM

James
James

How can the VA tell congress or any other government committee over them, that they will not let VA employees attend a hearing!

So the VA lawyers are more power full than our elected government officials!

Why did they not demand them to appear, McDonald is the VA, so if sounds like he’s responsible!

If our elected officials can’t or will not get anything done, IT’S time for every American to run amuck and hurt each other! On the QT, no one gives a “‘” about anyone or anything, but themselves!

It would be nice if some employee would have recorded her mocking the committee and put it on Facebook or given to the news outlets!

If nothing is done to these people, the moral of their employees will suffer and will have to face her wrath, if they should question anything!

What reason did they use to get out of going to testify?

Now ALL veterans should be afraid, since they have no One to stand up for them, congress and Senate has failed the veterans and the citizens of these here United States by letting criminals run the show!

If they can’t help the very people who served this nation, they should all just go home and stay there!

I guess running amuck is the norm!

Good grief, thought I seen it all!

crazyelf
crazyelf

@James,
The “reason” they were not testify was, according th “The New York Times” article, was due to the “investigation” against these perps!
I agree, seems people in all walks of life today, are only interested in what I will call,
“The ME Factor”
There’s no justification for it!

I also agree our elected and appointed officials need to grow a backbone. Quit screwing around and put many “sanctions” on, not only these ingrates, but everyone involved in this fiasco. The sooner the better also. I’m not sure, but I do believe Congress can initiate “sanctions”! Does anyone know about this?

91Veteran
91Veteran

They likely could similar to saying, no bonuses for managers. Will they?
What I would like to know is if the IG report into this has been released. Every IG report has recommendations, and I have yet to see one where the recommendation is for the agency to conduct the exact same investigation that the IG just did. If anyone knows if the IG report was released, I hope there is a link to it because their recommendations will be there.

Fred
Fred

This is the VA version of a modern day, “Butch and Sundance” story……..Any movie makers out there??????

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta

HEY MR RUBENS AND YOUR GRILFRIEND YO BRUNG TO PHILLY YO NEED TO BE IN FEDRAL PRISION WITH ALL YOUR BULL GRILFRIEDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason
Jason

She’s right it’s all a fucking show! The federal mantra is “look busy; and act like you care”!

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta

MR DIANE RUBENS WHEN ARE YO GOING TO MARRY YOUR GRILFRINND KIMBERLY BEALE ??????? SHE NEED A GOOD BULL DYKE HUSBAND ASAP ???????????????????????????????????????

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta

MR DIANE RUBENS WHEN ARE YO GOING TO MARRY YOUR GRILFRIEND KIMBERLY BEALE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????????????????????????????????

namnibor
namnibor

Not exactly in good form or taste there, Rueben Castro Acosta. What if someone where use the same “tone” toward yourself and came across blatantly racist? A person’s sexual preference is not the issue nor of anyone’s business.
What IS of everyone’s business is the FRAUD and Nepotism that took and takes place.
Yes, criminal fraudulent acts were committed, but let’s not insult the rest of the LGBT community with your immature words of discrimination. Seems rather ironic you of all people would say such things.
Grow up!

James
James

Race or gender makes no difference, only the law should matter, same sex people still commit crimes and when doing so must be held accountable, these are not file clerk’s!

There employees hold in their hand, the very lives of veterans and taking advantage of said veterans and more than likely hurting her fellow coworkers!

They should have to pay everything back and wear a sign in front of the VA or white house

I am a VA employee who lyed and cheated the veterans of the United states!

Reuben Castro Acosta
Reuben Castro Acosta

PENDEJO VETS VA ONE BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET FROM AFGE UNION CONTRACTS CONGRESS COWARDS DECALRE VA A RICO CRIME RACKET @ SHUT THIS SATANIC @ DEMONIC INSANITY CALLED VA DEPT FROM HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric Rolston
Eric Rolston

what no RICO ESSA??? WOW??!!!!

Jesse
Jesse

I am not savvy with all the ins and outs of the government or legal system, however it just doesn’t make sense that the employees of the VA whose behavior is in question is being investigated by the VA and not another unbiased legal entity.

I worked for the VA but, 2 months before I would fulfill my probationary period, I was forced to resign or be fired because I questioned antics, smaller in scale, but similar to the Hinckley scandal.

Thank you for your continuous effort in exposing the VA and their lying, cheating ways!

bruce wallace
bruce wallace

Ben’s report starts with: “… Diana Rubens walked around the facility laughing at yesterday’s House Committee hearing about her pay fraud scheme.”

Note the federal penalty for “attempted” fraud cited, further below: (Just like attempted murder has a lesser penalty than actual murder, so too with attempted fraud versus completed fraud. Add conspiracy, wire fraud, and the inevitable charges federal prosecutors will find, and a safe guess is a minimum of 20 years in prison plus very large fines, not to mention the automatic requirement of paying back the illegally collected money.)

From FTR Ch. 302 (federal regs) on moving expenses:

§302-2.6 May I be reimbursed for relocation expenses if …

302-2.6 (c) Any relocation must be incidental to the transfer and not for the convenience of the employee.

§302-2.7 What happens if I attempt to defraud the Government?

If you attempt to defraud the Government:

(a) You forfeit reimbursement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2514; and

(b) You may be subject under 18 U.S.C. 287 and 1001 to one, or both, of the following:

(1) A fine of not more than $10,000, and/or

(2) Imprisonment for not more than 5 years

The reason we know that she was “walking around” mocking the House of Representatives on the moving expenses FRAUD scheme is: her peers hate her and want to see her arrested, charged and convicted.

Clearly, conspiracy charges are warranted that go against Hickey and these two women. There have to be a LOT of very nervous VA employees out there right now that have received similar FRAUDULENT moving scheme “bonuses”.

If Shinseki was still at the helm he would be saying, “I didn’t know. This greatly angers me.”

What is McD going to say? What is worse? Being a co-conspirator or not knowing your employees are defrauding the system of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is only 2 cases! There must be more; perhaps dozens, maybe hundreds, possibly thousands more like these two!

Joe
Joe

The VA as a whole is crooked and to make it better get rid of the Director, all of the Supervisors and Managers. If you just get rid of the Director another problem child will grow. I worked for the VA and the supervisor has done the same thing Diana has done. How do you promote someone with just a high school Diploma and no military status over Veterans and people with college degrees. I can tell you all some unbelievable stories done by the manager over people who are speaking to veterans everyday. I feel bad for the veterans. They fight for our country and have to deal with this from a place that should be in there corner 100%……Sad I hope congress really do something about it all.

91Veteran
91Veteran

There is no way she went from GS-7 to GS-15 in 9 years without fraud.

James
James

Not fraud, dirty sheets! Tell it like it is! Love is blind, but we’re not!

91Veteran
91Veteran

Wow! You really gathered some detail on this Ben. I cannot see how all 3 are not prosecuted. 3 things jump out. 1. Her mocking Congress. This is the mindset of many upper management in the VA and will not stop until they are jailed. Congress needs to haul her sorry ass before them and demand if she thinks she deserves no oversight, what kind of environment her attitude that creates for her staff and how that translates to treatment of veterans, and how many veterans were denied care from lack of funding because of her blatant theft. Her thinking also comes from the way the federal government treats the LGBLT crowd as an untouchable, protected class. 2. Her girlfriend. Its interesting to see her hired at the GS-7 grade, then get promoted to the GS-15 level in such a hurry. Even with a college degree that would be damn hard to do unless someone was pushing her along. Her entire hiring history needs to be investgated to see what fraud was committed, and how many others more qualified or were veterans were not hired because someone wanted their girlfriend to benefit. It does not matter if she took a demotion to GS-14, she will still retire as a 15 if she worked at that grade for 3 years. 3. Her 15,812 for subsistence and temporary expenses. That means that money was for meals and a hotel room to stay in until her house in Philly was ready. At $200 per day works out to 79 days in a hotel letting Uncle Sugar pay for food. Per diem rates for Philly in 2015 were $174 per day maximum, so she spent 90 days living in a hotel. I think it was Bruce that provided excerpts of the Federal Travel Record, and I believe 90 days is the maximum, but has to be justified in writing. Who signed off on that? Hickey?
Prosecutions are required or there simply are no laws any more.

Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace

This shit is giving me worse nightmares than usual for some reason, but, in the FTR regs I glanced at recently, I saw something about the advantages of being a lower GS level when it comes to relocation reimbursements. That would help explain why there were mysterious, well-timed demotions. I think it was something about being no higher than a GS-13 to make you eligible for a big chunk of money.

91Veteran
91Veteran

That makes for interesting reading doesnt it when you know how these hacks ripped off vets.

crazyelf
crazyelf

@Bruce,
I too, according to my wife, am not sleeping. Having nightmares where I’m kicking. All due to this Bullcrap our country has turned into!

namnibor
namnibor

Bruce, you are not alone with those worse nightmares.

Chris
Chris

This is disgusting bull shit! The way they hassle us and treat us like criminals for daring to put in a claim. Then half the doctors act as if doing their job at a normal rate is going to kill them. The VA keeps running above their budget I wonder why and instead of dealing with these sick Fs they want to cut unemployability to lessen depending on much retirement pay, ss you get?

What a racket. There are some good people who work there and they get crushed by this disgusting greed.

James
James

What a scam! This is just sickening, these employees were involved in other scandals and nothing done to them, besides being promoted!

You hear veterans here stating they were given temporary jobs and since they are veterans, that care and asked questions about procedures, that management didn’t like and let go (fired) !

How many more veterans were hired and then let go, I guess about 900 as that’s the number Bob McDonald gave the VA committee his last time at bat!

The committee asked him how many employees were let go or fired and he told them 900 of temporary employees!

These employees just by their blatant lack of moral ethics defrauding the government and then laughing at our elected officials!

Employees under both need to be interviewed by someone outside the VA, past employees. People like them are undermining everything veterans fight and fought for!

What branch of service were they in, the salvation army?

I think even the salvation army, would have fired them. For going through the donations give for disabled people!

Really, people giving boyfriend or girlfriends money that belongs to veterans, so they can have a good time after a hard (not) days work.

If this wasn’t so grievous, it would be laughable! But it’s not funny at all! Our veterans are being falsely accused of disruptive behavior!

If this is not disruptive behavior and veterans having to fear the employee retaliation I don’t know what is!

The VA needs to give veterans a class on how to protect themselves from disruptive VA employees!

91Veteran
91Veteran

She does need to be removed immediately since she wants to mock Congress. Could you imagine being an employee there and being aware of lawbreaking? Her laughing about what she did tells every employee there that she cares nothing at all about lawbreaking, scamming as much money as she can, fraud, favortism, etc.

crazyelf
crazyelf

Hey folks, according to “The New York Times” article, the next Committee Meeting isn’t until November.
Google:
“VA Won’t Let 5 Officials Testify, Antagonizing Congress”
by Dave Philipps
Oct. 21, 2015

Any takers on “IF” Hickey will “voluntarily” subject herself to examination?

Any takers on “IF” those “5 Officials” who didn’t show yesterday, won’t show AGAIN even if under subpoena?

Any takers on “IF” those “alleged” committee members receive a different negative word describing how they “feel” by the news medias?

Any takers on “WHY” this ‘act’ takes precedence over why four veterans DIED out in Phoenix waiting to be seen in “Urology”? Why weren’t they, as from a VA OIG report, and dozens, and possibly hundreds, of others sent outside for these exams? Oh, wait, maybe it had something to do with that “(NO)Choice Program” we’ve been discussing for months now?
Google;
“Delays at VA Urology clinic implicated in deaths”

There’s quite a lot of “Any takers” questions all of us could, and should, be asking! I would just like our “Congressional Leadership” to “Grow a Pair” and do something! I believe they have the authority. If they don’t, WHO THE HELL DOES!!!!!!

Just in, according to “Breitbart”, a news source,

“Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wants to repeal a rule put in place by the third President of the United States and Founding Father – Thomas Jefferson – before he’d become Speaker of the House”
“Breitbart News’ Charlie Spiering reported tuesday night following Ryan’s press conference announcing he will run for Speaker if his demands were met:”

“DEMANDS”, who the hell does he think he is?

This has to do with the Congressional Body being able to oust a Speaker!

In the article,
“It’s the piece of parliamentary procedure that’s been cited in the attempts to dethrone John Boehner, and based on conversations with two Freedom Caucus members, could prove Ryan’s most difficult obstacle to gaining their support,” noted National Review’s Elaina Plott.”

Basically, Ryan doesn’t want Congress to be able to throw his a$$ out if he “sucks” as Speaker of the House”! Y’all can take that anyway y’all want!!!!!
Hey, namnibor whatcha think about this? This just might stop Ryan in his tracks!

crazyelf
crazyelf

y’all need to go get the “historically accurate” movie “Sons of Liberty”!
y’all will be surprised to learn of the difficulties “John Hancock” had in becoming the “Speaker” or “President” of our “Continental Congress”! You will also learn how he was greatly despised by many fighting for the Liberties we today are losing. He was NOT the “great rebel” many associate him with! He had to go a long way to prove himself. He finally did it. But it took him years!

namnibor
namnibor

This is interesting because it was only a few years back when Paul Ryan was calling the Disabled and Veterans as “Takers” along with Mitt Romney and Cronies.

Now, this entitled a$$ is making “DEMANDS” for a job position that’s in the chain of command for President? Oh, HELL NO!
This is a song and dance at a pony show because Paul Ryan is every bit part of and founding personnel of that very “Freedom Caucus” which is yet another glossed-over new name for the “Tea-Baggers”…he AND the Freedom Caucus are trying to take advantage of this Speaker Opening in order to change the very Constitution…I hope others get what they are doing…do not let the wool be pulled over your eyes…this has been carefully orchestrated. Make no mistakes about it.

I have said it for many years: There’s something quite not right about Rep. Paul Ryan. DEMANDS?!! REALLY??!!

It’s really RIPE for “Revolution Part 2” in these United States because we have United Snakes in D.C. that are NOT working for The People.

namnibor
namnibor

I stand corrected. That “War of 1812” easily gets passed-over with all the events that took place in a relatively short time frame. Thanks for the reminder.
What, is Congressional Committee not getting together again until November to hope this just fades into the budget battle, and even then, because of Thanksgiving in November, I do not even think members of Congress put more than 2 weeks in November any given year…then there’s State Elections the first part of November….so no, I would be incredibly surprised if these 5 and more, either are by then no longer required to show-up because I imagine between now and then, the VAOIG will come-up with some slap on hands “recommendations”, and continuation of corruption as per usual.
WE can keep this in the news and WE MUST. Examples need to be made of and keep going.
Will Sec. McDonald send his administrative assistant’s second cousin once removed to attend for his stead as well?

This is beyond ridiculous and Lady Liberty needs to give a swift kick and it’s going to take OUR legs to do it.
I agree with others on here in that IF these fraudsters are NOT prosecuted, I can no longer have any confidence in the system.

Thanks, crazyelf, for jogging my history lessons.

By the way…I am almost wondering if Paul Ryan really does not even want the job. I think he does enough damage on the CBO Committee.

crazyelf
crazyelf

namnibor, correction, this will be “Revolution Part 3”!
Part 2 was our “War of 1812”, more commonly called “Our Second Revolutionary War”! This is the one where the British burned our newly erected “White House to the ground”!

I also believe this is a “dog and pony show”! Ryan knows how to manipulate the news media. Or he has a part in telling them “What they can, or cannot, report”!
But, “DEMANDING” anything IS unconscionable to say the least!

ralph
ralph

She laughs because nothing will happen. It never will until the Congressional and Senate Affairs committee get serious. Which includes folks like Sen Blumenthal who also who asked for DOJ investigation, but yesterday blocked a key up and down vote on the accountability act.