Vm retire stuck in pending status

When USER1 attempts to retire vm the request is stuck in pending status.
Approval_type default is to auto but that does not help. I verified the group also has the correct prov_scop and the vm itself is tagged properly for the group to remove it.

I am able to initiate vm retire and it sails on through but the group for USER1 requires me to approve their request.

The error in the logs is
[----] I, [2019-08-28T14:58:41.934654 #91037:396b628] INFO – : MIQ(MiqRequest.log_request_success) userid: [USER1] - VM Retire requested by
for Vm:[1877]
[----] I, [2019-08-28T14:58:41.964075 #91037:396b628] INFO – : MIQ(MiqQueue.put) Message id: [5636216], id: , Zone: [Azure], Role: , Server: , MiqTask id: , Iden
t: [generic], Target id: , Instance id: [217], Task id: , Command: [VmRetireRequest.call_automate_event], Timeout: [3600], Priority: [100], State: [ready], Deliver On:
, Data: , Args: [“request_created”]
[----] E, [2019-08-28T14:58:41.965791 #91037:396b628] ERROR – : MIQ(vm_cloud_controller-x_button): Error during ‘retire_now’: not authorized

We are running hammer-6