WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs finalized paperwork this week to officially demote and transfer a St. Paul VA executive to Arizona who was found to have abused her position of power to advance herself financially at taxpayer expense.
The VA attempted to demote Kimberly Graves in November after its inspector general found that she plotted a move to Minnesota from the East Coast, gave herself $130,000 in publicly paid moving expenses and retained her $173,000 annual salary for a position with fewer job responsibilities in the Midwest.
The demotion was going to be to an assistant director job in Phoenix with a pay cut.
But Graves appealed that demotion and the VA acknowledged making a paperwork mistake in its first attempt. The final decision came through, with the proper paperwork, this week, VA officials told House members Friday.
The entire saga has been frustrating to Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., who has a seat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
He has called the VA's botching of the demotion appalling and has been pressing VA Secretary Robert McDonald to improve the federal bureaucracy.