VA Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright Simpson resigns (retires)

| February 17, 2018 | 44 Comments

Stars & Stripes reports that VA Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright Simpson resigned after she misled an ethics official.

VA Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright Simpson called VA Secretary David Shulkin on Friday morning and informed him she was retiring, Shulkin told Stars and Stripes. In addition to the ethical violations, her retirement comes amid reports of internal strife at the agency between a White House appointee and longtime civil servants.

Wright Simpson, the third-most senior VA leader, worked at the VA for 35 years. She served as chief of staff since Feb. 27, and was Shulkin’s top aide when he was the undersecretary of health in 2016.

Her ethics violation involved misleading about Shulkin’s wife while she accompanied the secretary on a trip to Europe;

The announcement comes two days after VA Inspector General Michael Missal released a report detailing “serious derelictions” by VA personnel regarding a 10-day trip to Copenhagen and London, which included full days of leisure activities and cost taxpayers at least $122,000.

Investigators found Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets, and they alleged Wright Simpson changed an email to an ethics official to justify using taxpayer dollars to pay travel expenses for Shulkin’s wife, Dr. Merle Bari. She “willfully and knowingly” made false statements, the report says.

Shulkin repaid taxpayers $4,312 for his wife’s travel expenses.

The case was referred to the Justice Department where they declined to prosecute the criminal charges. The article is headlined to clearly misrepresent that Wright Simpson resigned, but she merely took an unscheduled retirement.

Thanks to Devtun for the link.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (44)

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  1. C2Show says:

    Not surprised at all. I remember when people told me new president was gonna change things when working in VA HQ. New regime and new leadership. One Week later we hear that Shulkin is getting promoted within.

    I figured VA would be the same old shit. Also when I realized I had to leave. Wright Simpson one of the few VA higher ups that we never saw.

      • desert says:

        VA is screwing vets left and right, especially when you have an emergency visit to ICU! I suddenly at home was on the floor unable to get up with excruciating pain in my back, paramedics came and took me to emergency, I got a letter from my congressman, forwarded from va that said because this was not service connected, vet has no other coverage under a health contract that would pay all or part (conveniently tho, the hospital changed my paperwork from VA being my primary to Humana being primary and in that situation VA said they would pay as a secondary? that make any sense? who is lying through their hat here)? Also that the emergency was not sent by a VA clinic? How in hell are you going to be sent by a va clinic when you are prone on the floor unable to get up? This is all BULLSHYT to the first degree! How in hell does a hospital get away with changing my primary provider, just so they can get more exorbitant fees, bloated charges out of Humana than they would out of the VA? I am sick of the lies, the bullshyt, the runarounds etc!!

    • Rosalee Adams says:

      Yes, he changed it by hiring one of Barry’s boys to oversee.

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    Nice helmet.

  3. Wilted Willy says:

    When will they get off their ass and investigate my phony pos brother and his phony PTSD disability? I would like to just have 10% of what this pos has scammed out of the VA, but they just don’t seem to give a shit. It’s easier to just keep sending the checks instead of doing their fucking job!

    • daga says:

      And oddly it is just about as fucking hard to get them to start writting checks and taking care of people with real issues, that the big .mil sure as fuck caused. And that pisses me off.

      People trying to do the correct thing just get fucking screwed.

    • desert says:

      Send a letter to your congressman and senator, then call the VA phone hotline for veterans 855-948-2311 they will take a report from you and investigate!

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    If I follow this correctly, Vivisection/Vivi Voce/Whatever did not benefit from her fraud. Instead, the wide of her boss, Skulking/Sky King/Whatever did. And since Vivisection/Vivi Voce/Whatever has been sucking on the public teat for 35 years, has anyone asked whether her fraud was SOP? She has defrauded and misappropriated and lied. For this her punishment is a big, fat government pension. Nice.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    the wide = Freudian slip. I was thinking of the fraudster, no doubt.

  6. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    When will the trickle of the proverbial swamp being drained turn into a steady flow? Every biy helps.

  7. JimV says:

    What, no race card?

  8. stephen mccartney says:

    When I went thru “TAPS” prior to retiring from USN one speaker was the VA rep. He really stressed that we should try to remember ANY health issues we had in the service, minor, major OR just stuff that would have come along whether we were in military or not. He blew a lot of smoke up our butts about our “stellar service, we are all heroes,…now it’s time for America to pay you back for your sacrifice, etc” Sounded good. Turns out it was really for “job security” of the VA employees who process our “ANY health issues”. Keep them employed by encouraging us to claim everything imaginable. I went to two different “TAPS” seminars a year apart and the same sermon was given. I have been told many of the VSO’s are in cahoots with VA to make sure the VA system stays continually ‘swampy’. Lots of people on the disability payroll who don’t rate it. CAPT Bones USN (ret)

    • timactual says:

      On the other hand, it would have been nice if that TAPS thing had been around when I was discharged. It would have been nice to get my back injuries on record. I have had recurring back problems for years caused by injuries that didn’t seem worth reporting at the time they occurred.

      I am sure there are a few others who have similar problemsd. So how would you separate the wheat from the chaff?

    • desert says:

      I don’t agree with your description of Veteran Service Officers …AT ALL…..everyone one I have met have gone above and beyond and not one of them would have shyt on a vet to promote the VA…on the contrary, most are sick of the petty bullshyt in the VA!!

  9. Mason says:

    She looks like the “did you say steak?” she-beast in Duece Bigalow.

  10. Dustoff says:

    On a side note, I had an appointment at my local VA the other day. When checking in, the receptionist ( I Swear) could barely speak English. Of course Ms. Dustoff who was with me at the time, was quick to remind me that she had to prove competency of the English language before the Army approved our marriage.

    • Mason says:

      Same thing I’ve found at every post office in the last several years. The bad attitudes and lack of customer service were bad enough, now they have to throw in incomprehensible speech?

      • desert says:

        Try going to a DMV!!! or Soc. Security Office!!

        • E4 Mafia For Life. says:

          My daughter spent 5 hours at DMV just to get her over 21 driver’s license.
          Took 3 minutes to get a new photo and submit the form.
          She had not experienced the joy of DMV since she got her first license.
          “Dad. This place sucks. There are 2 types of people here. Nicely dressed business people or elderly and people that look like they slept under a bridge, stink, cough and dirty. I’m the only ‘normal’ person here.”
          “Well. I told you 2 things recently. 1.) Instead of fighting the college on why you have free tuition since your dad is service connected disabled, just don’t speak English, tell them you are undocumented and you’ll get free everything. 2.) If you to DMV, don’t speak English, only 12th Century Latin and Aramaic, demand an interpreter and call them racist if they don’t accommodate you.
          Use Pictionary cards to communicate this.
          They will open a special line just for you.

  11. Sparks says:

    I’m thinking she is just as smart as she looks.

  12. 2banana says:

    What about jail and total loss of pension?

  13. HMC Ret says:

    Well, bye you lying turd. OTD with this incident, but I’m betting dollars to doughnuts there have been many others. It would have been wonderful if she had been the head of the ethics department within the VA.

  14. jonp says:

    I’m getting a kick out of the talking heads in the MSM and the Progressives melting down over this while remaining silent when Pelosi used a taxpayer jet to go home to her mansion in the vineyard every weekend while serving copious amounts of vodka.

    Seems more like the culture of government led him to believe it was ok to take his wife along. He repaid the money and won’t do it again I’m thinking. This is just a little hysteria whipped up by the career civil servants at the VA who are seeing their cushy lifetime jobs of incompetence doing nothing coming to a screeching halt. The swamp is like that. This is what cleaning it out looks like

  15. O-4E says:

    I’m in my 4th month of working at the VA

    It has been eye opening to say the least

    • C2Show says:

      yeah don’t be surprised if you are looking for new job after 11 months and seen enough.

      • HMC Ret says:

        I made it through 11 years and I don’t know how. I guess b/c I needed the money and didn’t feel like competing with others at my age and with my health problems. Finally … I could take it no more. The most dishonest, lying management on the face of the earth. Upper management routinely came to work late but left early to make up for it. We had monthly all hands meetings when we were told how wonderful we were and how the ‘metrics’ had improved and yada, yada, yada. Then management disappeared again for another month … except for when they could be seen coming in from the parking lot at 0900-1100. I thought the environment would be similar to the military, where we had each other’s back. Not a chance. Just a bunch of people who hated their jobs and acted accordingly. Management couldn’t get rid of the noloads b/c of the union, which was a self-serving group of assholes. Those were the positive attributes of the place. It really was worse than that.

        • HMC Ret says:

          I’ll add that we veterans could also be, as a group, an obnoxious, demanding bunch of assholes, also. The crap I saw from patients I have never seen in a civilian hospital, in which I have also worked for many years.

          I speak from 41 years in medicine, a VA employee for 11 years and a VA patient for 26 years. Your experiences may vary. I hope they do.

          • C2Show says:

            no my experience was about the same. Upper management made up their own times to come in they only looked out for themselves. Working half assed most of the time.

            Then we had veteran versus non get thing going on. Also had hostile work environment complaints out the ass. Probably my final foray into VA. When back to DoD. I want to try again but who knows.

  16. Rosalee Adams says:

    They could all ‘resign’ as far as I am concerned.
    Best described as self-serving for the most part.
    Peter principle in full force.

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