By Steve Dellar  |  02-17-2018   News
Photo credit: va.gov

Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright Simpson from the Department of Veterans Affairs has stepped down after an investigation found that she had doctored emails to justify Secretary David Shulkin’s wife travel expenses to be paid back by the taxpayer rather than by the Secretary himself when his wife accompanied him on a European trip last year.

The internal investigation by the department’s inspector general claims it found “serious derelictions” by both Mr Shulkin and his staff and therefore urged administrative action against Chief of Staff Ms Vivieca Wright Simpson, who subsequently chose to step down.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shulkin issued a memo to VA managers directing them to decrease employee travel &quot;and generate savings,&quot; for the department. Two weeks later Shulkin and his wife took an 11-day trip to Europe at a cost of at least $122,334, according to the report. <a href="https://t.co/IT0nABh97a">https://t.co/IT0nABh97a</a></p>&mdash; NPR (@NPR) <a href="https://twitter.com/NPR/status/964105510118141952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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President Trump, during his first month in office, made it very clear he expects VA leaders to hold themselves and other employees accountable when they don’t live up to standards veterans and taxpayers deserve. With that in mind, Ms Wright Simpson chose to ‘retire’ at this point.

Secretary Shulkin meanwhile has stated he would be paying back the $4,000 in airfare for his wife.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is so really, really bad: Cost to taxpayers: $122,334. via <a href="https://twitter.com/Reinlwapo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@reinlwapo</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexHortonTX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@alexhortontx</a> who helped break the initial story. <a href="https://t.co/mrLmaDIvGr">https://t.co/mrLmaDIvGr</a></p>&mdash; Greg Jaffe (@GregJaffe) <a href="https://twitter.com/GregJaffe/status/963819066678022145?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In a reaction to Ms Wright Simpson’s departure, Mr Shulkin said: “I think this now is just a distraction we have to deal with.”

“Any time you have a disruption of a team, it has the potential to slow down progress. We can’t just let that happen. The president has made clear he wants changes to the VA quickly, and that’s what we’re focused on doing.”

Source:

https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/va-chief-of-staff-vivieca-wright-simpson-resigns-after-damning-ig-report-1.512172

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2 Comment/s


Anonymous No. 18641 1518881480

We're gonna need a bigger broom

anonymous No. 18652 1518890340

She stepped down…so what! Put her in jail.

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