Just when I thought I'd lost my capacity for surprise. The Brooklyn Eagle has the latest:
The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) saga continues: A panel rating the bids for the Cobble Hill hospital has been told to ignore some unauthorized last-minute instructions by SUNY and DOH, and head back into sequestration.
After attorneys for LICH supporters raised hell on Wednesday about alleged interference by SUNY and the state Department of Health in the voting process, the parties hashed out an agreement to extend the deadline to give panelists a chance to reevaluate the proposals.Panelists were supposed to submit their votes on Wednesday, March 26, at 3 p.m. The new deadline is Monday, March 31 at 5 p.m. Court approval of this extension is still necessary.
Nothing is ever easy, is it?A court document instructs the panel to “disregard” what they were told during an unmonitored conference call made by SUNY and DOH officials on Monday, a day and a half before their votes were due.After the panelists’ sequestration ended on Wednesday, attorney Jim Walden of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was told about the conference call.In a letter he fired off late Wednesday to attorneys for SUNY and DOH, he alleged that the state agencies, which have been fighting for a year to close LICH, might have fed incorrect information to panel members about the odds of getting a hospital license from the state, and did not inform panel members that a temporary permit could be obtained under Public Health Law 2806-a.In his letter he alleged that the agencies incorrectly instructed the panel members that bids proposing full-service hospitals “could not receive regulatory authority to take over operations at LICH.”According to insiders, at least one panel member refused to turn in their vote after receiving these instructions from the state agencies."