SUNY, Long Island College Hospital contempt hearing halted

Rumors circle that Mayor Bill de Blasio will get involved
February 18, 2014 06:45PM

A contempt hearing against the State University of New York, brought by six community groups fighting the university’s attempt to shut down Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, barely got out of the gate before being placed on hold.

State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes adjourned the proceedings Tuesday at the request of two of the petitioners, who said Mayor Bill de Blasio is going to get involved, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

De Blasio has already met with several local elected officials in discussions about the proposals for LICH that are currently on the table, a source close to the situation told the Brooklyn Eagle. The mayor, this unnamed source said, “was not pushing for a full-service hospital,” though a de Blasio spokesperson later told the Eagle that this rumor was not true.

“First, the Mayor has made clear from the time he entered this fight as Public Advocate months ago that insuring the maximum amount of quality healthcare for the community was his goal, and that’s the only reason LICH was not closed completely six months ago,” Phil Walzak, de Blasio’s spokesperson, told the Eagle. “Second, while ultimately the decisions rest with SUNY and the plaintiffs in court, we will continue to work with the community for a long-term solution that achieves the goals the mayor set out last year.”

The legal action is slated to resume Thursday Feb. 20 at 11 a.m., the Eagle said. [Brooklyn Eagle]Julie Strickland