VA spokesman Cal Ringum acknowledged the Director of the Spokane, Washington Regional Office was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington of several crimes. Recently indicted, Denestro E. Neuman pled guilty to bribery, theft of government services, illegal use of VA credit cards, nepotism and falsely claiming VA compensation benefits for PTSD.
Mr. Ringum said the VA will insist on the maximum punishment for Mr. Neuman. At a minimum, Ringun indicated he will face mandatory house arrest for a week with a GPS ankle bracelet and be subject to 9 PM bed checks for the remainder of the year. In addition, Neuman will have to wear a small scarlet A representing the word Asshole on his left lapel as as warning to others not to trifle with the Department of Veterans Affairs rules and regulations. VA admitted they were powerless to reduce his PTSD compensation payments below $1,156.06 a month which he has been paid for over twenty years.
Judge Shearer acceded to the defense’s request for a work permit so he won’t be arrested for leaving his property to travel to and from work between 11 AM and 3 PM. For security’s sake, the Judge also concurred that he should keep his chauffeur and limousine service.
Spokesman Ringum pointed out this would have a dire impact on Mr. Neuman’s future promotion potential. He was slated to head the new office in Ho Chi Minh City but Ringum said that might change to Bangkok and a lower salary of $12,000 per month versus the $16,000 a month with a residence and servants in Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Neuman was quick to plead guilty and the Judge noted that fact when handing down the harsh sentence. Said Judge Shearer ” I was going to throw the book at him and withhold warm milk and cookies before nighty night but Mr. Neuman has promised to change his behavior. Considering his unblemished record of almost ten years of otherwise honorable service to the VA before this indiscretion, I think we can expect him to take his place in society as a changed man. I, for one, am willing to give a man another chance.”
Mr. Ringum was also quick to point out Mr. Neuman will be on probation for a year. Any further incidents will be dealt with harshly and Neuman could face being downgraded to a work-at-home employee at a slightly reduced salary. As his current compensation package is substantially protected by the one-year rule, his salary cannot fall below his current $112,850 a year with travel pay and the housing allowance(after taxes).
Secretary McDonald pointed to the new law passed by Congress last year as a valuable tool for punishing underperforming VA senior management and giving him a free hand in disciplining his employees as he sees fit.
P.S. I guess I have to reveal this is Veterans Humor and total fiction. There is no one named Alfred E. Neuman who works for the VA. I think he retired with full pension years ago.