St. Paul VA director is demoted, relocated amid claims she abused her position

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High-ranking VA official Kimberly Graves has been demoted and will leave her role in St. Paul after an investigation accused her of abusing her position for her own financial benefit.

Graves, the director of the St. Paul Regional Benefits Office, was demoted from a "senior executive" to a "general schedule worker" within the Veterans Benefits Administration, the Associated Press reports.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Graves will be moved from her role as the director of the St. Paul office to an Assistant Director position at another VBA regional office. Also demoted was Diana Rubens of the Philadelphia office.

Graves was accused of using her position to create a job vacancy, and then volunteering to fill it herself.

The VA's Office of the Inspector General found that Graves had arranged her own transfer from the East Coast to St. Paul, which resulted in "a significant decrease in job responsibilities" yet saw her retain her $173,949 salary.

She also claimed $129,467.56 in expenses associated with her move to Minnesota.

The Washington Examiner reports that Graves and Rubens will both receive pay cuts, but will still be able to claim moving expenses as they relocate to their new, albeit lower-ranked positions.

The newspaper adds that Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House VA Committee, "lambasted" the VA for failing to fire the pair.

Graves was called before a congressional panel hearing at the start of November after being subpoenaed to appear, and hit the headlines when she took the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.

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