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While hiring forms accurately noted that Ms. Cullen, who started with the VA in 1973, was a graduate student, subsequent personnel forms — including several involving promotions — wrongly stated that she’d obtained a master’s degree, according to the inspector general.

On several other applications and promotion requests she claimed to hold an Master of Business Administration — another false statement, investigators said.

When investigators asked Ms. Cullen for copies of her transcripts, she kept them waiting for months, then said she didn’t realize she had submitted inaccurate information, according to the inspector generals memo.

Mr. Miller gave Mr. Sloan until June 20 to tell him when VA officials first learned that Ms. Cullen provided false information on her employment records and what disciplinary action she faced. He also demanded Mr. Sloan justify the bonuses paid out to Ms. Cullen even after officials learned about the inspector general investigation.