Elected officials on Wednesday asked State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and the attorney general to open separate reviews into aspects of the selection process leading up to SUNY’s sale of Long Island College Hospital to Fortis Property Group.
In a letter to DiNapoli, the politicians asked the comptroller to review the final bid and contracts for LICH and conduct a review of the selection process. The officials included State senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman and City Council members Brad Lander, Stephen Levin and Carlos Menchaca.
The officials noted that “considerable concern has been raised about the impartiality of the RFP’s scoring and the transparency of the subsequent negotiations between SUNY and RFP respondents.”
In particular, the politicians noted that Fortis was not the highest ranked bidder and that negotiations with Fortis occurred only because SUNY exited the discussions with the first and second-ranked bidders.
In May, SUNY rejected top bidder Brooklyn Health Partners, saying it was “unable to execute a satisfactory contract agreement with BHP.” SUNY then turned to runner-up the Peebles Corporation, but that deal fell apart due to a dispute over environmental remediation.
Last month, SUNY struck a $240 million deal with Fortis to turn the site into a luxury condominium development with limited medical facilities and a freestanding emergency facility to be operated by NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center.
Separately today, Trindade Value Partners appealed SUNY’s rejection of its $210 million bid for LICH, citing problems with the RFP process, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.
The officials also asked the Charities Bureau of the Attorney General’s office to investigate the use and disposition of an endowment left to LICH by Donald and Mildred Othmer before the court grants the sale approval.
Last year, Supreme Court Justice Carolyn Demarest ordered that LICH and SUNY restore funds that hospital administrators tapped from the endowment, the Brooklyn Eagle reported. According to the letter from the politicians, LICH was meant to hold the Othmer Fund in perpetuity and use income from the endowment for general purposes or for the construction or acquisition of a building named after the Othmers. — Tom DiChristopher