It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A pair of Department of Veterans Affairs officials who defrauded the VA for $400,000 will not face any criminal charges, despite an inspector general's request that they both face a criminal investigation.
In an inspector general report made public in September, Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves were both accused of manipulating a VA program meant to ease the strain of moving agency employees between cities. The watchdog referred the matter to the Department of Justice for a criminal inquiry.
But prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia ruled against pursuing charges late last week, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday, effectively eliminating any possibility that the two officials will face consequences for their actions.
The VA declined to fire Rubens and Graves in November. Although the agency planned instead to demote the embattled officials, a paperwork mistake spared the two from even that minimal punishment.
Hickey resigned her post in October 2015 amid investigations into her role aiding the two women in their transfer scheme. The VA announced it would review its transfer program due to the growing number of cases involving abuse of authority.
Rubens expensed nearly $275,000 in moving fees to the VA while relocating to Philadelphia, attracting the attention of the VA's inspector general. Upon investigation, it was learned that Rubens had used her position to pressure a subordinate to leave their job at the Philadelphia office, thus opening that position. Rubens then volunteered for the position that held significantly reduced responsibilities, but managed to retain her $181,000 salary. Rubens and was transferred to a separate location and demoted while under investigation.
Rubens and Graves both made appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board and pleaded the Fifth amendment regarding the allegations. The Inspector General recommended the Justice Department proceed with criminal charges.
A judge overturned Rubens’ demotion in January 2016, sparking outrage. The court stated that punishing Rubens and Graves was inconsistent disciplining behavior by the VA, since it had not similarly punished other employees that had committed offenses. The judge also cited her superiors’ foreknowledge of her intent as evidence that no laws had been broken. Rubens was reinstated effective immediately and was awarded back-pay.