LETTER: Questions abound in Veterans Commission’s executive director's resignation

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CDT

The Aug. 21 article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Tony Messenger regarding the forced resignation of executive director Hal Dulle by the Missouri Veterans Commission leave several questions unanswered.

What did Dulle say during his radio program that was so egregious to cause his firing? Why was Gov. Matt Blunt's chief-of-staff present at the closed-door commission meeting? Who instigated the forced resignation? Who were the commissioners present? Should a member of the National Guard be the executive director?

Chairman Joe Frank allegedly said that the primary concern was that Dulle could not effectively represent the commission before lawmakers. It is well-known that Frank has been very active in past political campaigns by promoting candidates in various veterans posts and in television ads. His ad during the last general election supporting Sen. Jim Talent against Claire McCaskill, purportedly sponsored by a VFW political action committee, didn't endear himself to Sen. McCaskill or the majority of Missourians who voted for her. Sen. McCaskill has accomplished more for veterans in two years than Talent did during 12 or so years in Congress.

Rather than engaging in political pandering Chairman Frank should release full financial disclosure of the following commission authorized programs:

1. One million dollars allocated annually to veterans organizations to pay one-half of their service officer salaries.

2. One million dollars allocated to Lt. Gov. Kinder for a video program depicting veterans experiences.

Using Commissioner Frank's own criteria as a guide, I believe he should resign from the commission immediately!

Carl H. Niewoehner was a former commissioner of the Missouri Veterans Commission from 1994 to 2005.


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