The most profound problem isn't that the state's rules aren't stringent enough; it's that there is no money in the budget to enforce those rules. By continually cutting the mental health budget in recent years, state officials created a situation in which only one yearly inspection was completed on Anderson Guest House, when two are called for. In allowing Anderson to be operated in such a fashion that Dupont was closely involved, it's clear the state either wasn't taking its own rules seriously or didn't have the time to look very hard at the management of the homes it licenses.
While I agree with the sentiments expressed in the editorial, it would not have taken that much money for the state to make sure that someone with a long and public list of safety violations, financial problems, and a federal conviction for fraud is not responsible for the care of those least able to care for themselves.
Joplin Globe Editor Edgar Simpson, in a column in today's edition, points out the ridiculous way that the Department of Health and Senior Services handles violations by group home facilities:
The state does not look at an overall company’s performance, but inspects each home as if it were a separate entity. This makes no sense. An operation with fire-code issues at several locations says something about how the company is run, its values and how things are managed at all homes, regardless of what the most recent inspection shows.