SB40 looking into $224,000 in account for Regency Management, an affiliate of VIP Industries

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Questions surrounding a Regency Management Inc. account intended for construction of a Jackson group home for the developmentally disabled should be cleared up today, Regency chief executive Hilary Schmittzehe said Monday.

Regency Management Inc. is the not-for-profit housing organization affiliated with VIP Industries. It owns apartments under the name Regency House in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Marble Hill, Mo., as well as a nine-bed group home called Regency Terrace in Cape Girardeau.

Regency received $224,419.40 in August 1996 from the Cape Girardeau County Board of Directors for Handicapped Facilities, the name at the time for the board commonly known as the SB40 Board. The money was intended to build a group home in Jackson, but no home has been constructed.

Newly elected board president Dory Johnson said that on Friday she contacted A.G. Edwards, where the money was deposited, but was told only that the account that received the money in 1996 was still active.

An Aug. 30, 1996, letter detailing the transfer promised the SB40 board a monthly statement of the account's activity. No statements can be found in the board's files, Johnson said.

"I believed when we went there we would find out some information," Johnson said. "They were very sorry but very direct."

Johnson provided copies of the documents Monday to the Southeast Missourian. Schmittzehe, when asked about the account, said he was unable to contact anyone because of the late hour but promised to have full information by noon today.

"If it doesn't belong to us, they get it back," Schmittzehe said.

VIP Industries owns 3.67 acres on K-Land Drive in Jackson. The property, just off East Jackson Boulevard between Regions Bank and the Regency House apartments, remains undeveloped. VIP Industries, the common name for Cape Girardeau Community Sheltered Workshop Inc., purchased both the undeveloped land and the property for Regency House in 1990.

Tensions over numerous issues confront the SB40 board and VIP Industries. Since the board was founded following a tax election in April 1975, it has only funded activities at VIP, which includes a sheltered workshop for the developmentally disabled, the residential properties and transportation needs of people working for VIP.

A contract to renew VIP's eligibility for Medicaid payments is an example of the issues between the board and VIP. Each year, the Missouri Department of Mental Health renews a memorandum of agreement for the SB40 board to provide up to $225,000 in matching funds for the payments.

The contract was signed June 15, and was altered from the original to include a requirement that the mental health agency provide $10,168.56 per month as well. Former board president Robert Landgraf, who has missed almost all meetings this year, resigned June 20.

The revisions were made by staff at VIP to reflect a long-standing agreement with the department, Schmittzehe said. Landgraf's signature was obtained and the memorandum returned.

Johnson said the memorandum should have received board approval before being signed.

"We are trying to get these things through the board, the total board, before we do anything," she said.

Schmittzehe said that if the board objected to Landgraf signing documents, it should have removed him as president. In addition, he said the board should have contacted him both to tell him to no longer deal directly with Landgraf as well as to make sure full information was disclosed about the A.G. Edwards account.

"I have no problem with whatever they are doing but it will help a whole lot more if they will communicate," he said.


Pertinent addresses:

1330 Southern Expressway, Cape Girardeau, MO

5616 U.S. 61, Jackson, MO

K-Land Drive, Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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