Mo. Veterans Commission employees write glowing reviews for official with problem past

ST. LOUIS - The Fox Files uncovered evidence of the government trying to pass around an alleged problem employee.

Reference letters from the Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) nearly fooled a nursing home into hiring a man with a reported troubled past.

Fox 2 News uncovered questionable letters of recommendation after our investigation into nursing homes, earlier this month. A whistleblower told us, "Do you know another nursing home hired the man ousted by the St. Louis Veterans Home?"

Fox 2 started looking into it and things quickly changed.

For months, we've been reporting on allegations of abuse and neglect of military veterans inside the St. Louis Veterans Home in Bellefontaine Neighbors. Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Parson said director Rolando Carter should be fired and Governor Eric Greitens called for an independent investigation that found substandard care.

Meanwhile, Fox 2 found two letters of recommendation for the man blamed. Both were written on Missouri Veterans Commission letterhead. One is dated January 17, right after Carter was relieved of his duties. The Assistant Director of the Homes Program wrote, in part, "…there was never a time he could not be depended on...," as well as, "I would highly recommend Rolando as an Administrator..."

Green Park Senior Living then hired Carter, based partly on the glowing recommendation letters. However, Green Park's corporate communication office, CommuniCare in Ohio, later said it "rescinded the offer" after hearing about "issues not previously disclosed."

A spokesman for the MVC said the letters don't represent the organization's position.

"They were inappropriately written by individuals who were not authorized to make statements on behalf of the MVC, and clearly represent further lack of alignment between the mission of the MVC and past failed culture, which we are working to change. As previously released, Mr. Carter is an at-will employee who was relieved of his duties with the MVC."