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VA workers sent $1 million in landscaping work to family’s company, special counsel says

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Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote a Jan. 25 letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting immediate action against an allegedly corrupt employee of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusets.

“The landscaping scheme came to OSC from a persistent whistleblower who led investigators to nearly $1 million in improperly spent or documented purchases at the Bedford VA,” said a release from the Office of the Special Counsel in Washington.

Dennis J. Garneau, a maintenance and grounds supervisor, and his daughter Heather Garneau-Harvey, also a Bedford VAMC employee, allegedly directed procurement contracts for landscaping services to Earth Creations Landscaping, a company owned by Garneau’s son, who is unnamed in the report.

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Garneau resigned in 2015, but Garneau-Harvey has remained a VA employee, and was demoted only one rank after allegedly defrauding the VA for a period of years.

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“By allowing an employee who engaged in this conduct to remain with the agency, the VA demonstrates a shocking degree of indifference to government ethical standards, procurement regulations, and public integrity,” said Kerner.

The whistleblower, identified as Kevin Cornellier, a tools and parts attendant, disclosed suspicious, frequent, and significant purchase orders for landscaping materials, such as rock salt, mulch and crushed stone.

Cornellier said the majority of these orders were never delivered to the facility, despite payment being made. He persisted for years contacting local authorities regarding his concerns to no avail before finally contacting the Office of the Special Counsel.

“Mr. Cornellier persevered and was ultimately successful in stopping serious procurement fraud,” said Kerner

Cornellier asserted during the investigation that the failure to ensure Harvey-Garneau’s sequestration from the unit where such significant, substantiated wrongdoing occurred constituted gross mismanagement,” Kerner said.

Kerner’s letter to the president said that in June 2016, when Garneau Harvey was first interviewed by investigators, she had claimed to have no knowledge that Earth Creations Landscaping was owned by her brother. Over the course of a two-year criminal investigation, Kerner remained in her federal position.

Kerner wrote:

I strongly urge the VA to ensure that Ms. Garneau-Harvey is removed from any position where she could interact with the Engineering Service or participate in procurement matters, and further encourage the VA to take appropriate measures to ensure that conduct like this does not occur in the future, and to suitably discipline employees who have committed serious wrongdoing.

This disclosure comes on the heels of allegations of mismanagement at a VA medical facility in Temple, Texas.

An internal VA investigative board found that employees funneled $1.3 million through a contractor called Whitetail Industrial Parts and Service, which reaped approximately $400,000 in undue profit by deliberately charging for services that it never rendered.

VA supervisors at the Texas facility are also accused of stealing landscaping equipment and benefitting from the labor of veterans in a vocational training program, whom they instructed to build fences, repair sprinkler systems and perform other landscaping duties at the homes of VA supervisors and their family members.

Campaign 2020

Democrats Push to Save Bankrupt Postal Service in Order to Promote Democrat Mail-in Voting Scheme

They are setting up the steal.

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Democrats are shilling to save the bankrupt and destitute U.S. Postal Service (USPS) so mail-in voting can replace physical voting in November’s presidential election.

Started by left-wing comedian Samantha Bee, liberals are participating in the #MailedIt campaign to encourage Americans to mail in their voting ballots rather than going in and actually submitting their ballots on election day in traditional fashion. They are targeting the Trump administration, which has warned of the potential for fraud because of mail-in voting.

“The government is leveraging the pandemic to privatize mail deliveries,” said Samantha Bee. “President Trump and his team of vote suppressors don’t want your vote to count. He is adding the USPS to a long list of things he is afraid of, like books, stairs, and strong wind. I’m using my voice and resources to activate our fan base to enact real change because if we lose the post office I’m going to finally have to learn to use my email and I do NOT remember my password.”

Bee and other liberals have been using the hashtag all day in an attempt to rally support around USPS.

It is worth noting that this political campaign is being promoted with advertisements over Twitter, which is an apparent violation of their terms of service.

With mail-in voting being used in recent elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instances of alleged fraud are already emerging. Big League Politics reported on a handful of Democrats being charged with ballot tampering in New Jersey during an election conducted entirely by mail-in voting:

Four men, two of whom are Democratic city council members, have been charged with running a voter fraud operation in the town of Paterson, New Jersey.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced charges of mail-in voting fraud, election fraud, and illegal possession of mail-in ballots against Michael Jackson, Alex Mendez, Shelim Khalique, and Abu Rayzen.

Jackson is an active city councilman, while Mendez is a councilman-elect. Khalique is the brother of another Paterson city councilman, and Rayzen is a campaign operative for Khalique’s brother, Shahin Khalique.

The charges allege that Jackson took it upon himself to pick up completed mail-in ballots from voters in the city and delivered them to the Passaic County Board of Elections. Jackson failed to disclose to the board of elections that he delivered ballots for that he’s a city council member, and in one case, a ballot that he picked up that was unsealed was delivered to the election authorities sealed and completed.

Mendez is also accused of the same form of dishonest ballot harvesting, declining to reveal that he was a candidate for office when dropping off mail-in ballots. He’s also charged with falsifying and tampering with records.

Although they’re rarely enforced, New Jersey laws criminalizing election fraud have strict penalties, and it’s possible that the men could face prison sentences of up to ten years if they’re convicted of the second-degree felonies of which they’re charged.

Democrats are gleefully opening Pandora’s Box for abuse with their push to prop up the USPS and enable widespread mail-in voting.

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