The vets’ mess needs top-to-bottom cleaning to heal
Allison Hickey may have resigned as head of the Veterans Benefits Administration just in time to avoid being caught in the middle of a scandal.
After she revealed plans to leave, Department of Veterans Affairs Secetary Robert McDonald praised her for reducing a backlog of veterans’ claims for disability benefits.
But that was not all she oversaw. A congressional committee is looking into reports that two executives within the VBA received a total of about $400,000 in relocation payments after they switched jobs. In addition, though they enjoyed substantial decreases in their duties, they kept the salaries they had previously. There also is an allegation one of them forced another VBA official out of his job so she could take it.
So Hickey may have decided to get out, as they say, while the getting was good. After all, she headed the VBA at the time those events occurred. Scandal after scandal erupts from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Yet officials there resist a top-to-bottom housecleaning. At some point, Congress may have to order that.