Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Former Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin violated federal statutes and ethics regulations, the VA office revealed Thursday.
An investigation by the VA Office of the Inspector General into the former secretary's conduct found that despite having been warned, Shulkin had misused government resources by permitting a VA employee drive his wife, Marle Bari, in a government vehicle without him being there.
Shulkin was also found to have broken ethics rules by allowing his wife to be driven in a private vehicle by a VA employee who was off duty.
The investigation report states that Shulkin did not request these services. However, personal favors, including rides, are considered gifts and he had the "ethical obligation to decline."
"Secretary Shulkin violated federal statutes and regulations prohibiting the misuse of government property and the acceptance of certain gifts when he allowed his VA employee driver to provide transportation to the Secretary's wife for nonofficial purposes," the Inspector General report said.
However, the report found that Shulkin did not abuse his authority over the Executive Protection Division by having agents protect him when at nonofficial events as he relied on the staff for advice.
He also wasn't informed that being accompanied by the agents was against regulations, the report said.
The report also found that the Executive Protection Division of the office had been mismanaged since at least 2015.
The report called the lack of an adequate threat assessment and the absence of written operational procedures "fundamental failings in providing critical executive protection functions."
On top of that, it found "several potential security vulnerabilities" including an agent sharing details of a motorcade's planned movements to unauthorized personnel, the habitual practice of agents storing motorcade keys behind fuel cap doors and agents not wearing body armor.
There were also instances of agents claiming to be working while off duty.
"OIG identified an instance in which three Executive Protection Division agents falsely claimed to be performing official duties while on travel, when in fact they were engaged in a day-long personal tourist excursion," the report said.
The investigation was spurred by allegations made against the VA from several complainants in 2017.
The Office of the Inspector General made 12 recommendations based on its investigation, of which the VA has already implement seven, Stars and Stripes reported.