Wednesday, February 14, 2018

VA Secretary David Shulkin sought approval after he did it?

VA Secretary David Shulkin misused government resources, agency watchdog report says
Donovan Slack
Published Feb. 14, 2018
Craig Holman, an ethics specialist with Public Citizen, said Shulkin didn't seek ethics clearance to accept the tickets until months later, when a Washington Post story about the trip was imminent.

WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets and airfare for his wife during a European trip last summer that cost taxpayers more than $122,000, according to a VA inspector general report released Wednesday.

His chief of staff, Viveca Wright Simpson, made false representations to a VA ethics lawyer and altered an official email to secure approval for taxpayer funding of Shulkin’s wife’s flights, which cost more than $4,000, the VA inspector general found.

Shulkin told ethics officials the tennis tickets were provided by a personal friend, Victoria Gosling, an adviser for the Invictus Games, a sporting event for wounded warriors. The inspector general concluded that was not the case.

The inspector general found the excursion led to a “misuse of VA resources.” Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, took the trip with three other VA executives and a six-member security detail ostensibly to attend meetings in Denmark and a summit on veterans’ issues in London.
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