Larry Kay has resigned as the executive director of the Missouri Veterans Commission and St. Louis Veterans Home administrator Rolando Carter is on leave. The commission met for about five hours on Wednesday before announcing the details.
On Monday, Republican Governor Eric Greitens called for the removal of both men in response to findings of an independent investigation of the facility in the St. Louis suburb of Bellefontaine Neighbors. Greitens said the report details inadequate care of the facility’s residents. Some previous investigations, including one by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, found no wrongdoing at the home.
The examinations have been motivated by claims of mismanagement, mistreatment of residents and incorrect distribution of prescription drugs to them, including antipsychotics.
The details are unknown about a possible severance package for Kay, who has led the organization since 2008. The commission voted on Wednesday to elect Tim Noonan as its chairman. Noonan said Kay made a good call by bowing out.
“He did an outstanding job for a number of years leading the Missouri Veterans Commission,” Noonan told the press after Wednesday’s meeting. “He has taken, clearly, responsibility for everything that happens inside of his organization and has decided to take a very honorable step in resigning.”
The commission has elected Col. Grace Link of the Missouri Air National Guard as its interim executive director. Its general counsel, Kevin Hall, would not allow the disclosure of how many candidates the commission considered for the position and the selection process used.
It’s up to the executive director to decide whether to fire Carter. According to Noonan, Carter could be on administrative leave for 45 days. In the absence of Carter, Kim Packard and Patty Faenger are running the veterans home.