WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors declined to press criminal charges against Kim Graves, the former St. Paul chief of the Veterans Affairs Benefits Office.
In a statement, prosecutors at the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia said they are declining the referral for criminal prosecution from the VA's Office of the Inspector General. Prosecutors remanded the case back to the VA for "administrative action that is deemed appropriate."
Graves faces questions from top VA brass here after the VA inspector general in September found she orchestrated a move to Minnesota from the East Coast, keeping her $173,949 salary despite fewer job responsibilities, and giving herself taxpayer-financed moving expenses of $130,000.
The VA tried to demote Graves to Phoenix and give her a pay cut earlier this month, but officials acknowledged botching the paperwork to make the transfer, and Graves appealed the decision. VA officials say they are going to attempt the demotion again.
The entire fiasco has sparked angry hearings on Capitol Hill among members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, which has been probing the VA brass, performance and salaries for the past year.
In October, committee members, including Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, subpoenaed Graves and some of her colleagues to testify about the inspector general's allegations.
Graves showed up, but invoked the Fifth Amendment, which protects a person from making any self-incriminating statements.