Sunday, August 21, 2011

St. Vincent's Rudin Investigation

Manhattan District Attorney is investigating St. Vincent's ''go-for-broke plan'' that has supposedly enriched the Rudin Managedment Company, which has been waiting in the wings for the hospital to flatline.

St. Vincent's Hospital is under investigation by the Manhattan DA's office for allegations that the Rudin Management Company has been planning a real estate harvesting/luxury condo conversion plan of the shuttered hospital.

St. Vincent's closed on April 30, 2010, after it laid off many of its employees. Many employees later learned that the hospital was not paying into the state's unemployment fund, so those who were laid off were not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Ever since it closed, the impacted community of the Lower West Side of Manhattan has been calling for investigations into what lead to the hospital's sudden closure. The hospital failed to file a closure plan, as it was required to do, with the New York State Department of Health.

From an article in The New York Post :

Going broke allowed the hospital to get an OK from the state Health Department to sell to the Rudin family, which is building luxury housing on the site. Without bankruptcy, state officials would not have been permitted the hospital to shut down, the sources said.

"This was a well-thought-out plan," said Tom Shanahan, a lawyer for a group of former St. Vincent doctors and nurses suing St. Vincent's. "They wanted out and had to justify it to the state. They were running it into the ground."

DA Cy Vance's team is looking into whether vendors double-billed for services, gave kickbacks for contracts and hired relatives of hospital employees, sources said.

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