You Paid For It: Getting results in 2023

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ST. LOUIS – From horrible living conditions in a multi-million dollar housing complex to houses stolen right under the homeowners’ noses after the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds dropped the ball to a frustrated veteran who couldn’t get his pension checks. The You Paid For It Team was on the case, getting answers and often taking action in 2023. FOX 2 looks back on an eventful year of investigations.

Filthy housing complex

It was a horrible sight in an apartment in the Samuel Gompers Homes in East St. Louis. An army of insects harassed Sierra Hall and her three children for seven months. Days after FOX 2’s expose on the problem, the executive director of the East St. Louis Housing Authority was suspended and later dismissed. Meanwhile, Hall and her children moved into a new apartment.

Medical transport failures

We received a call about an unusual situation in Arnold. Double amputee Viva Schermesser contacted FOX 2, saying her taxpayer-funded medical transports failed to pick her up to take her to doctor’s visits. After You Paid For It shed light on the problem, the government made sure Schermesser got proper transport to her appointments.

Homeowner’s house stolen

In a different report, we looked at the hardship that locals were experiencing as a result of con artists stealing at least two people’s homes. The office of the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds had approved faulty quitclaim deeds and handed over the deed to the scam artists. FOX 2 is still pursuing a satisfactory outcome for the victims.

Leaky apartment walls

In November, we were told about a mentally disabled woman living in a horrible apartment in north St. Louis County. Things were so bad that water would shoot out of the walls whenever you turned on a faucet. After FOX 2 got involved, the head of the St. Louis County Housing Authority paved the way to move the tenant into a safer and healthier apartment.

Veteran’s Missing Pension

The You Paid For It team went to bat for Michael Martin Kovac, an Army veteran who had not received his pension check for several months because of a mistake on the VA’s part. Michael couldn’t talk with us about the problem because of his medical condition, but his wife, Val, did the talking, and we got to work.

Within a day of our report, the VA sent me a statement thanking us for our investigation, saying they would restore Kovac’s checks, including back pay, and even apologized to the Kovacs for the mistake.

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