VA Worker Convicted of Armed Robbery Reinstated With Back Pay

The Veterans Administration offers exciting career paths for those who excel at failing:

The VA is a place where people tend to somehow magically fail upward. By that I simply mean that workers at all levels can be caught up in any sort of malfeasance or incompetence and not only retain their jobs, but apparently profit from their actions. We’ve told you the story of the executive who ran her department into the ground and was punished with a plush gig in the Philippines. Then there was the Albany, New York administrator who was found to have drugs addicts on staff who were stealing the medication of the veterans and was fired, but somehow got her job back at full pay. And, of course, who could forget the Arizona VA chiefs who cooked up the scheme to keep veterans on phony waiting lists where some of them literally died without seeing a doctor, but will keep their positions with full pay and benefits for as much as two more years.

Now the latest:

A Department of Veterans Affairs employee in Puerto Rico was fired after being arrested for armed robbery, but her union quickly got her reinstated — despite a guilty plea — by pointing out that management’s labor relations negotiator is a registered sex offender, and the hospital’s director was once arrested and found with painkiller drugs.

“Everybody does it” was a defense often made by Bill Clinton’s admirers when he was impeached for committing multiple felonies while in office. It is becoming the unofficial motto of progressive Big Government.

The union’s position — that another employee committed a crime and got away with it, so this one should, too — has been upheld by the highest civil service rules arbiters, and has created a vicious Catch-22 where the department’s prior indefensible inaction against bad employees has handcuffed it from taking action now against other scofflaws.

The same reasoning was used by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to justify reinstating VA executives Diana Rubens and Kim Graves after they swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars by bullying others out of jobs and then cashing in on relocation bonuses to take the jobs themselves.

But it’s not as if there were no consequences for the Puerto Rican robber:

When veterans at the Puerto Rico VA hospital come to the social work department seeking counseling and guidance, the secretary greeting them, Elizabeth Rivera Rivera, will be wearing a GPS monitor ankle bracelet, a condition of her probation.

Rivera was driving around Puerto Rico in the middle of the night on a Monday with Rolando Rio Febus and robbed a couple at gunpoint. Rivera was charged with armed robbery and her companion with armed robbery and gun charges.

Rebus’ bail was set at $2 million due to multiple previous arrests on gun charges. Bail for Rivera was set at $100,000, which she could not pay, leaving her to miss work while she sat in jail.

No worries; US taxpayers are providing her with back pay.

In career terms, getting imprisoned for armed robbery normally qualifies as failure, so a promotion for Ms. Rivera should be forthcoming.

Where failure is encouraged.

On a tip from Steve T. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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