Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Connect

Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia VA Official Pleads the Fifth in Congressional Hearing

November 3, 2015
Press Release

Costello: “It’s time for accountability and to get back to business”

 

Washington, D.C. – Last evening, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to receive testimony from the subpoenaed witnesses on the findings of the Inspector General's (IG) report regarding Department of Veterans Affairs’ officials alleged misuse of its relocation program and incentives. Diana Rubens, Director of the Philadelphia VA Regional Office, and Kimberly Graves, Director of the St. Paul Regional Office, invoked the Fifth Amendment due to the criminal referrals made by the IG. 

Following the hearing, Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) released the following statement:

“Last night proved that a handful of VA officials, despite the issuance of subpoenas, are not committed to bringing transparency to VA Regional Offices,” said Congressman Costello. “According to the VA Office of Inspector General, they inappropriately used their positions to create opportunities for their own personal and financial gain.

“Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of veterans rely on the Philadelphia VARO.  While I do believe many of those VA employees are making great strides in reducing the claims backlog, these examples of VA officials gaming the system only causes more damage to the reputation of the facility and to the VA.  It is time for certain officials, particularly Diana Rubens, to be held accountable so that we can reform the facility and get back to the business of caring for our veterans.”

 

WITNESS LIST

 

Mr. Danny Pummill*

Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Accompanied by:

 

Ms. Diana Rubens*

Director, Philadelphia and Wilmington Regional Offices

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Mr. Robert McKenrick*

Director, Los Angeles Regional Office

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Ms. Kimberly Graves*

Director, St. Paul Regional Office

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Mr. Antione Waller*

Director, Baltimore Regional Office

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Ms. Linda Halliday

Deputy Inspector General

Office of Inspector General

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

The Honorable Allison Hickey**

Former Under Secretary for Benefits

Veterans Benefits Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

*Appeared under the order of subpoena because VA refused to make them available for a previous hearing.  

**Invited to appear but did not attend the hearing.  

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

 

###