The Office of Special Counsel contacted President Donald Trump Thursday, requesting that the president terminate a Massachusetts VA employee who was caught pocketing $950,000 to herself in 2015.
VA employees Heather Garneau-Harvey and her father Dennis Garneau charged their own family company $200,000 for snow removal and $750,000 for landscaping.
They were caught when someone else at the VA realized that none of the materials were actually arriving.
A whistleblower named Kevin Cornellier contacted the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency, which launched an investigation into the matter in 2015.
At first, the perpetrators claimed to not know that the company was owned by the brother, which was contradicted by their own emails.
Her father resigned from federal service in 2015.
Garneau-Harvey was reassigned to another division at the Bedford VA hospital and
demoted two years later.
“By allowing an employee who engaged in this conduct to remain with the agency, the VA demonstrates a shocking degree of indifference to government ethical standards, procurement regulations, and public integrity,” Special Counsel Henry Kerner wrote to President Trump.
VA Secretary David Shulkin, who visited the Bedford VA in November, blamed the lack of a permanent director and instability for many of the hospital’s problems. Bedford hasn’t had a permanent director since 2016.