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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Issues Subpoena of Philadelphia VARO Official

October 21, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, after five Department of Veterans Affairs officials failed to attend a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the Inspector General’s recent report regarding the “Inappropriate Use of Position and the Misuse of the Relocation Program and Incentives,” the Committee voted to issue subpoenas compelling these officials to testify at a public hearing on November 2, 2015. This is only the fourth subpoena issued in the history of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and the first subpoena for witness testimony.

The purpose of today’s scheduled hearing was to publicly examine the IG’s report in detail, determine what went wrong, and help ensure the necessary steps are taken towards accountability for officials. The following officials were subpoenaed:

  • Mr. Danny Pummill, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Ms. Diana Rubens, Director, Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices
  • Ms. Kimberly Graves, Director, St. Paul Regional Office, Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Mr. Antione Waller, Director, Baltimore Regional Office, Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Mr. Robert McKenrick, Director, Los Angeles Regional Office, Veterans Benefits Administration

Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) issued the following statement following the unanimous vote to subpoena the officials:

“It is absolutely unacceptable that these officials failed to appear before our Committee today, especially in light of the IG’s findings.  It is imperative that these officials, particularly Diana Rubens, appear before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee so that we can get to the bottom of the misuse of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and abuse of authority by senior VA officials,” said Congressman Ryan Costello.

“This VA facility has seen distraction after distraction that has nothing to do with serving the veterans. American taxpayers and veterans deserve answers and officials complicit in this wrongdoing must be held accountable so we can refocus our efforts on helping our nation's veterans.”

The subpoena comes just days after Allison Hickey, Under Secretary, Veterans Benefits Administration announced that she will be resigning her post, effective immediately.

On the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Congressman Costello serves on the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) and the Economic Opportunity Subcommittees.