Shamed St. Paul VA executive "demoted" to highly desired job at troubled Phoenix VA Regional Office
St Paul Administrator Ms. Kim Graves
By Allison Sherry, Phoenix Star Tribune
WASHINGTON – Embattled former St. Paul veterans benefits director Kim Graves is being moved a lesser (but one still highly desired and richly rewarded) VA job in Phoenix, senior House Veterans Affairs Committee officials said Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said last week that they demoted Graves to assistant director after the department’s Inspector General found she orchestrated a move to Minnesota from the East Coast and received $130,000 in moving expenses. She also kept her high $173,949 salary, even though her VBA responsibilities in St. Paul were greatly diminished.
After the inspector general’s findings, Graves was forced to testify in Washington. She pleaded the Fifth Amendment in front of the committee, in order to avoid making any self-incriminating statements.
The inspector general’s report, which uncovered similar instances of potential misconduct from other administrators, drew intense and bipartisan criticism in Washington, where VA officials have been scrambling to correct the problems.
Top VA officials in Washington reassigned Graves to the assistant director position in Phoenix, a much larger organization, VA officials told the House Committee.
Graves will take a pay cut, too, though will likely make more than $100,000 a year.
Kay Anderson, the current assistant director in St. Paul, has taken over the helm of the regional benefits office.
The VA has not commented on the shuffling and has not taken steps to make Graves pay back her relocation allowance to St. Paul. It was not clear whether she would get another relocation stipend to move to Arizona.
Graves and other administrators identified in the inspector general’s report could still face criminal prosecution.