Thursday, February 7, 2013

SUNY's Hearing on Killing Off LICH: Real Estate, Fraud, and Politics

Photo: Nurses Union
Brooklyn's representatives hammered SUNY Chairman Carl McCall at the sham SUNY board of trustees hearing today, staged as a prelude to closing down Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and stripping it of $500 million worth of real estate.

Councilman Brad Lander asked SUNY Chairman Carl McCall if SUNY's acquisition of LICH in 2011 was a transaction driven by real estate, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

Lander demanded: "Will you commit to us that you will not sell off the real estate?"  McCall declined, saying "disposition of LICH's real estate was not on the board's agenda."

More from Lander:
"If you close LICH now, you will be abandoning a 150-year-old investment in Brooklyn’s health care infrastructure, which we will never be able to recreate anywhere in the vicinity of downtown or brownstone Brooklyn. Many recent events have shown the need to maintain and invest in our infrastructure. You would be doing the opposite – selling off essential infrastructure for cash, rather than investing in it. This unfortunately raises the very real question of whether SUNY Downstate ever really intended to turn LICH around."

More from Squadron:
"Now that we are faced with a plan that essentially turns this $63 million state grant into a subsidy for a massive real estate deal, it should be no surprise that the community and state feel looted," said Squadron, referring to the HEAL New York grant awarded to LICH and Downstate when the two institutions merged in October 2010.

Squadron also disputed claims that LICH's bed occupancy is below capacity.

"Making it impossible for LICH to be a 500-bed hospital, then shutting it down because it isn't one, is Orwellian," he said.

More from the Eagle:

- Sen. Eric Adams suggested there be a probe of possible "criminal action" in the removal from LICH coffers of millions of dollars bequeathed to the hospital by a local benefactor.

- At one point Williams even claimed to be unaware that LICH's dialysis center was told to stop accepting patients and to vacate.

What's Next?

- This afternoon the SUNY board pretended to give serious consideration to the points made by Brooklyn reps and residents and voted on closing LICH.

- On Friday morning SUNY will announce its final decision. A march, press conference and community meeting will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall Friday morning.

Recent articles on LICH:

- What's Happening with the LICH Closing Thursday and Friday
- Brooklyn's LICH Is Closing -- UPDATED
- Will LICH Be Taken Private? Cuomo's Budget Calls for Brooklyn's First 'For-Profit' Hospital 
- Brooklyn's LICH On the Verge of Closing - Endowment Drained?
- Unexpected: Head of Brooklyn's LICH Stepping Down
- Donald and Mildred: We're Sorry About Losing All Your Money, and the Hospital, Too
Gov. Paterson Announced LICH /SUNY Deal in Brooklyn Today 
- Insurance Trouble at Brooklyn's LICH 
- Petition to Save LICH
- Sucking Long Island Collage Hospital Dry?
- Long Island College Hospital In Big Trouble

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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