Veterans Affairs manager allegedly forced subordinates to pay his wife for fortune telling

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A female employee with the Department of Veterans Affairs told lawmakers that a manager allegedly forced subordinates to pay his psychic wife to read their fortunes.

During a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, a witness testified that a VA manager in Philadelphia allegedly compelled subordinates at a party to pay his wife $30 each to have their fortunes read, according to the Washington Times.

The hearing Wednesday reportedly addressed widespread allegations within the department's offices across the country -- from accusations of mental abuse of employees to falsifying records.

Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican and committee chairman, asked Kristen Ruell, a quality review specialist who works at the Philadelphia VA office, about reports a manager had his subordinates pay his fortune-telling wife for her services, the newspaper reported. The accusations stemmed from a dinner party with VA employees last June.

Ruell, who said she wasn't invited to the party, testified that she heard employees talking about the alleged incident involving Gary Hodge, former manager of the office’s pension management center, and Hodge's wife, whom she described as a "medium." Hodge has since been transferred to the VA's Washington office.

Ruell testified that her colleagues who paid "for Mr. Hodge’s wife to give them a fortune-telling experience" were his subordinates, according to the newspaper.

"They were pension center employees that were under Gary Hodge," Ruell reportedly told the committee.

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