VA secretary improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets during $122334 European work trip: Report

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tickets during a work trip to Europe last summer in which he spent the majority of the time sightseeing, according to a blistering new report released by the VA‘s Office of Inspector General.

The 11-day trip to Copenhagen and London cost taxpayers at least $122,334, the report said. It also alleged that Shulkin’s chief of staff altered a document and misrepresented information to ethics officials that ultimately caused his wife’s airfare to be covered by taxpayer dollars.

Shulkin, his wife Dr. Merle Bari, senior VA leaders and a six-member security detail flew a commercial airline to Copenhagen in July to attend a day-and-a-half of meetings with Danish government and health care officials to discuss veterans issues, but also included a day of tourist stops.

The delegation then flew commercially to London to attend a veterans conference. But over half of the secretary’s six days there were spent sightseeing, including a trip on the London Eye, a river cruise down the Thames, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament, according to the report.

The IG report said that, in the process, a VA employee’s time was “misused as a personal travel concierge to plan tourist activities exceeding that necessary for security arrangements.”

In a thorough 16-page

Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/va-secretary-improperly-accepted-wimbledon-tickets-european-work/story?id=53080497

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