Probing Misuse of VA Relocation Program and Abuse of Incentives
American Legion National Commander Barnett, commander of the 2.2 million member, who is from Douglasville, Ga., has rescheduled his itinerary to attend a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing, which will examine a recent IG report which found exorbitant relocation expenses paid on behalf of Philadelphia Regional Office Director Diana Rubens.
Director Rubens’ superior, Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey, who announced her resignation on Oct. 16 (a move that was called for by The American Legion), and Director Rubens are on the witness list to testify at the hearing. Also testifying is St. Paul Regional Office Director Kimberly Graves, former St. Paul Director Antione Waller and former Philadelphia Director Robert McKenrick. Mr. Waller and Mr. McKenrick were reportedly pressured to accept transfers from their previous positions.
The American Legion is the nation’s leading advocate for a strong national defense, care for veterans, Americanism and patriotic youth programs. The American Legion is alarmed at the lack of accountability that continues among VA officials accused of committing serious misconduct and the unacceptable backlog of claims as veterans continue to wait for benefits that they have earned.