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VA Chief of Staff steps down following inspector general investigation

By: Tony Peck
February 21, 2018 Updated: February 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm
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The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Department of Veteran Affairs Chief of Staff Vivieca Wright Simpson retired on Friday following the release of last weeks inspector general report, according to an agency statement.

The report, issued Feb. 14, investigated an 11-day trip to Europe made by several Veteran Affairs officials last July. The trip included Secretary David Shulkin, his wife and Wright Simpson.

According to the report, the Office of Inspector General received an anonymous complaint alleging that Shulkin and others misused VA funds and inappropriately accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

In the fallout from the inspector general report Simpson elected to retire, although, the agency announced that it will conduct a formal investigation on her actions identified in the report, according to a press release.

“She called me this morning and told me she doesn’t want to be in this environment anymore,” Shulkin told Military Times on Friday of Simpson’s resignation.

Filling her shoes is the agency’s Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Executive Director Peter O’Rourke. He will play both roles for the agency until a replacement can be found for his previous role, according to a press release.

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