Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix Department of Veterans Affairs’ Health Care System, has been officially removed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As my IWF colleagues and I wrote last summer, the VA’s “deadly dereliction in oversight” “resulted in the preventable deaths of almost 40 veterans” in the Phoenix facility alone. Under Helman’s watch at the Spokane VA, nine more veterans killed themselves and dozens more suicide attempts were documented.

Yet those deaths and maltreatment were not what got Helman booted. The Washington Post’s Emily Wax-Thibodeaux reports:

…the ruling by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) could not substantiate that Helman knew or should have known that employees at her hospital lied about health-care wait times for former troops seeking treatment for everything from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Instead, as the basis for upholding her removal, the judge named other charges against her by the VA, which said she accepted “inappropriate gifts,” such as a trip to Disneyland “in excess of $11,000 for what appears to be six of her family members for an 8-night stay,” and $729.50 for five tickets last year and parking to a Beyonce concert on Aug. 24, 2013.

The ruling finds she accepted a total of nine gifts offered by a consultant whose “very business is to assist its clients in securing favorable government contracts, particularly with the Department of Veterans Affairs, including five airline tickets between Phoenix and El Paso, Texas, Portland and Vancouver and entry fees for the Mississippi Blues marathon, according to the ruling.

Wax-Thibodeaux notes that Helman personified the VA’s dereliction of duty. What’s more, while she was on administrative leave as officials investigated charges that she allowed veterans to be put at risk,

Helman continued receiving her $170,000 annual salary. In response to the MSPB decision, Wax-Thibodeaux continues:

Garry Augustine, executive director of the Washington headquarters of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), said her removal was akin to getting Al Capone for tax evasion.

“Let’s take the example of Al Capone. The bottom line is, she is gone. We got her,” he said.

Congress plans to investigate how to strengthen the department’s ability to get rid of “corrupt and reckless managers.” What’s more, plans have already been announced to completely reorganize the department.

These are good first steps, but greater and more ongoing transparency and accountability will be needed to ensure veterans are protected long after this scandal has subsided.