A federal watchdog report, sparked by concerns from Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, has identified a potential conflict of interest and resulting ethic violation within the office at the Department of Veterans Affairs that helps runs the GI Bill program.
An inspector general report released March 24 found Charmain Bogue, as executive director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Education Service, worked with her husband’s employer, the nonprofit Veterans Education Success, which created the appearance of a conflict of interest because she failed to disclose the relationship.
The report said Bogue didn’t considering whether her recusal in the dealings was required “in light of the potential appearance of a conflict of interest, which is a violation of government ethics rules.”
The report also states she refusing to cooperate during the investigation. Bogue resigned amid the investigation.
The probe was prompted by concerns by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley in April 2021.
Grassley letter last April asked for information about Bogue’s supervisor and information from tabout whistleblower complaints.
The request was followed by the group Empower Oversight, founded by Jason Foster, who was chief investigative counsel to Grassley when he was Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.
Foster concluded that the VBA Education Service conflicts of interest were “an open secret in the VA for years. Supervisors knew.”
He also said the VA inspector general’s office knew, but “the whistleblowers were ignored until Sen. Chuck Grassley started asking questions.”
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