Former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Pleads Guilty to Demanding an Illegal Gratuity
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that PAMELA PARKER, 55, a resident of New Orleans and former employee of a regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”), pled guilty today to one count of demanding an illegal gratuity.
In the fall of 2014, LSU School of Nursing sought to apply for a highly competitive federal grant, which was designed to transition veterans into nursing careers. According to court documents, the VA assigned PARKER to determine if the VA should partner with LSU to strengthen LSU’s grant application. PARKER admitted that, during her meetings with LSU’s representatives, she demanded things of personal value to her in exchange for her assistance on LSU’s grant proposal. PARKER, a Registered Nurse herself, demanded, among other things, that LSU give her a Doctor of Nursing Science degree.
“Today’s guilty plea is the most recent – but not the last – example of our commitment to fighting public corruption,” said U.S. Attorney Polite.
PARKER faces statutory penalties of up to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman set sentencing for May 4, 2016.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marquest J. Meeks is in charge of the prosecution.