Missouri Veterans Commission News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2018
The Missouri Veterans Commission has completed background checks for employees at the St. Louis Veterans Home, Executive Director Grace Link announced today.
“In April when I took this position on a permanent basis, the Missouri Veterans Commission challenged us to proactively address areas of concern and not rely on the old ways of doing things,” Link said, “Meeting minimal standards wasn’t acceptable for our Veterans. Ensuring mandatory pre-employment background checks for all Veterans Home employees is essential.”
In May, Link initiated a comprehensive, independent review of the St. Louis Veterans Home’s operations and procedures. The review found that almost half of the home’s 323 full-time employees did not have complete pre-employment background checks, dating back to 2016.
In response, MVC requested expedited assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. In June, the Patrol fingerprinted and conducted background checks on all St. Louis Veterans Home employees with incomplete background checks. The Patrol’s efforts included spending two days on-site at the home.
The Patrol found that an employee who had been working at the home for about one year had a pending felony charge. The employee was quickly released from employment with the Veterans Commission. Further investigation by the Commission and the Patrol revealed potential irregularities in the employee’s handling of transactions involving several Veterans’ in-house spending accounts. The Veterans’ spending accounts are insured and guaranteed by the Commission.
A full forensic audit is currently being conducted. The Highway Patrol continues its investigation. Families or guardians with questions about the resident accounts may contact Mr. Brad Haggard, Assistant Director of Homes Program, at 816-728-4882.
The Commission also recently completed extensive reviews of employee personnel records in all six of its other homes. No issues were noted.
The independent review of the St. Louis home identified other issues, including some involving direct care. The St. Louis Home staff immediately addressed those issues. In the last month, the review team returned to the home and confirmed the most serious issues had been abated.
The Missouri Veterans Commission, a division of the Department of Public Safety, operates seven State Veterans Homes, five State Veterans Cemeteries, and the Veterans Services Program. The Commission is committed to honoring and serving Missouri’s Veterans whose dedication and sacrifices have preserved our nation and its freedoms. For more information about the Missouri Veterans Commission programs, please visit us online at http://www.mvc.dps.mo.gov, or facebook.com/MissouriVeteransCommission.
For more information, call 573-522-1421 or e-mail Daniel.Bell@mvc.dps.mo.gov