VA benefits chief retiring; was suspended in relocation scam

Posted at 8:55 AM, Jun 16, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting head of the Veterans Benefits Administration is retiring — three months after he was suspended for allowing two officials to manipulate the agency's hiring system for their own gain.

Danny Pummill will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs on June 23. Pummill was suspended without pay for 15 days in March for his role in a relocation scam that has roiled the agency for more than a year.

The VA says Pummill failed to exercise proper oversight as the two officials forced lower-ranking employees to accept job transfers and then took the vacant positions themselves — keeping their senior-level salaries while reducing their responsibilities.

Pummill leads an agency with a $2.7 billion budget that provides disability benefits to about 4.3 million veterans.