Grace Hill Settlement House

(via Flickr/JefferyTurner)

A federal audit has raised questions about the way a St. Louis social service agency spent a $2 million federal stimulus grant to retrofit diesel engines.

Grace Hill Settlement House received the grant in 2009 to install pollution-reducing technologies in vehicles like fire trucks, school buses and tugboats. It was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Five months after taking the post, Missouri Department of Social Services Director Alan Freeman is resigning to return to his old job in St. Louis as president and chief executive officer of Grace Hill Health Centers Inc.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Freeman’s departure today, which comes just a week after the governor’s announcement, without details, that Ian McCaslin was being replaced as director of the department's Medicaid division.

St. Louis may have missed out this week on a share of Race to the Top stimulus funds to improve public education, but it is a big winner on the health-care front. The federal government announced Thursday that it was extending through 2014 an unusual program that has provided about $25 million a year for funding area community health centers.