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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Congress subpoenaes VA executives over allegations of improper job reassignments

October 22, 2015
In The News

As published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON – The row of chairs reserved for witnesses remained empty Wednesday morning in a hearing room where members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee had wanted to grill top employees, including Philadelphia VA Director Diana Rubens.

Lawmakers are investigating whether Ms. Rubens and St. Louis VA director Kimberly Graves forced underlings to take transfers in order to create vacancies they then filled themselves. They also are accused of costing the VA $500,000 when they took advantage of an employee relocation program intended to entice workers to take hard-to-fill jobs.

Their failure to appear raised the ire of committee members who unanimously voted to subpoena the five executives. The subpoenas require them to testify on Nov. 2 along with Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits Danny Pummill and the two VA directors they are accused of pushing out of their jobs.

A no-show then would put them in contempt of Congress and subject to arrest.

"Today represents the fourth time in committee history that a subpoena has been called, and the first time that we will vote on a subpoena compelling individuals to appear,” said Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla... 

“We’re as outraged as anyone but we don’t have anybody really to direct that outrage to,” said Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Chester.

Read the Full Article Here