Monday, March 25, 2013

Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff Gingrich is calling it quits

VA Chief of Staff Expected to Retire
Mar 24, 2013
by Bryant Jordan

Department of Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff John R. Gingrich is calling it quits.

Gingrich -- criticized by lawmakers and the VA’s Inspector General’s office last year in connection with a pair of Florida resort VA conferences cited for waste and ethics violations -- is leaving on his own terms and retiring, according to sources who spoke to on condition of anonymity.

Gingrich, a Persian Gulf War veteran who served 30 years in the Army, is expected to leave within the next few weeks and perhaps as soon as one week. However, it’s unclear when the VA plans to formally announce Gingrich’s retirement.

A request for comment from the VA was not returned before the publishing of this article.

Gingrich has reportedly stayed on since the start of the new administration in January at the request of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who asked him to help out through some of the transitions and prepare for an interim chief of staff.

“[This] will have been done by the end of the month,” Gingrich said in a statement that has not yet been released to the public according to a source who has seen the memo. “I believe we have accomplished much in the past four years and the team is well focused for the future.”

Gingrich decided to retire after discussing it with his wife, according to a source.

Some veterans and VA observers saw Gingrich as more involved in the department’s day-to-day operations than Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould.

Last year, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, ranking member of its Senate counterpart, demanded Gingrich’s firing after the VA was cited for wasteful spending and ethics violations at two human resources training programs at a Florida resort in 2011.
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