(Photo by Oliver Contreras)

Chief of Staff for VA Secretary resigns amid scandal

February 16, 2018 - 2:12 pm

Secretary David Shulkin’s chief of staff resigned suddenly Friday. The resignation is the latest development in the travel expense scandal that has rocked the department over the last few days.

“[Vivieca Wright Simpson] called me this morning and told me she doesn’t want to be in this environment anymore,” Shulkin told Military Times Friday.

Military Times is reporting that Simpson left after a report was released Wednesday from an inspector general investigation that accused her of doctoring emails in order to justify having Shulkin’s wife as an official guest on a trip to Denmark in July 2017.

Read also: VA’s IG reports Secretary Shulkin wrongly accepts Wimbledon tickets

Shulkin suggested to reporters on Thursday that Simpson’s email account had been hacked and someone had been impersonating her.

Read also: Shulkin won't resign, claims top aide was hacked

Shulkin also told Military Times Friday that Simpson’s resignation would not change his plans to review the actions of his staff involved in the scandal.

Simpson worked at the VA for 32 years and served previously as the Chief of Staff of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) under Shulkin.