Tuesday, March 22, 2016

VA Employee Reinstated With Back Pay Following Time Off For Serving A Prison Term For Armed Robbery

by JASmius

Elizabeth Rivera Rivera is not an ex-convict, in other words, but a currently incarcerated one - and yet she's still a Veteran's Administration employee in good standing, with full pay and benefits, and obviously unfireable.

Does the VA even inflict a parody of performance reviews?:

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.... [emphasis added]

In a saner time, that Senorita Rivera would have been fired from her job wouldn't even need to be mentioned, it would be such an inevitability.  As it happens, we do not live in sane times:

A [Commissariat] 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

Employees said the union demanded her job back and pointed out that Tito Santiago Martinez, the management-side labor relations specialist in Puerto Rico, who is in charge of dealing with the union and employee discipline, is a convicted sex offender. Martinez reportedly disclosed his conviction to the hospital and VA hired him anyway, reasoning that “there’s no children in [the hospital], so they figure I could not harm anyone here.”

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

Given that this takes us way, WAY beyond "Am I on Candid Camera?" and "Didn't Saturday Night Live already do this parody?", there's not a whole lot to add to that.  Other than that, if the VA's employees all had superpowers.....

....it would be more accurate to rename the Commissariat of Veterans Affairs "the Legion of Doom".

It would certainly make the magazines in the waiting room in which every vet dies of starvation a lot more interesting.  Although I don't think the GPS ankle bracelets would be nearly as effective.

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