An Alluring Moral Imperative – Save Our Elderly Keep them OUT of Allure or Landau Run Facilities – Letter…

NO PICTURES PERMITTED! 

JOEL LANDAU – ALLURE -JOE LANDAU – ALLURE – JOE LANDAU – ALLURE –

KEEP AWAY!!!!!!

Dear LM –

As you know, I have an interest in seeing to it that there is better protection for the most vulnerable in our community, those to whom we owe our gratitude and respect, the elderly. I can’t help but wondering how we went from being a civilized society to one that cares so little about anything beyond our own pockets. I can’t help but point to the wealthy beneficiaries of our lack of morality as it applies to the elderly. In your comments regarding Joel Landau and Allure, a request for information and a hope that he will be taken out of the equation where the elderly are concerned, I found hope that perhaps my own loved ones would one day be redeemed, albeit posthumously.

THE ALLURE GROUP: – Enabled by Governor Cuomo and the Public Health Planning Council:

I cannot help but going back to where the cancer began vis a vis NY State Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities: namely Albany and the Public Health and Health Planning Council-appointed by Governor Cuomo. Presently much is reliant on Attorney General Schneiderman ‘s lawsuit effort to prevent Allure from buying two more facilities: the Harlem Nursing Home and  the Sts  Joachim & Anne Nursing  Home…a situation which would have been prevented had the PHHPC & Governor Cuomo, who appoints these deleterious license enablers, been called to account for the many years of lousy management and sub-par responsibility.

If you believe as I do…and if credit is given to the reported documentation clearly showing that too many of the so-called ‘operators’ of long term care facilities in New York buy these places only to churn them, one cannot merely place the blame on Mayor de Blasio  & his rabid real estate gaming malfeasance. The story began with the certification and enabling of amoral and predatory owners who should never have been allowed to obtain nursing home certification from the PHHPC in the first place.

IT ALL BEGAN IN ALBANY!

Since the indignation and moralistic baloney from Landau/Allure fly in the face of reality and takes front and center in the news, past and present they are the perfect example to reference.  If one looks at the online published segment of a Feb 2016 Public Health & Health Planning Council report one can see how they got where they are:

PHHPC- PROJECT #152128-B HARLEM CENTER FOR NURSING & REHAB:

https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/public_health_and_health_

planning_council/meetings/2016-01-28/docs/exhibits.pdf

The following screen shots were taken from the above report:
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Joel Landau – Allure Group – Shameless Behavior – if What is Claimed is Right

 

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BK nursing home blames Allure Group for resident deaths

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/22/brooklyn-nursing-home-blames-allure-group-for-death-of-certain-residents/

A Brooklyn nursing home is blaming the Allure Group for the deaths of some of its residents, saying the landlord wrongly forced the residents out.

CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant filed a lawsuit against Allure, claiming the company forced out residents soon after buying the facility in 2015, the New York Post reported. Allure’s efforts to quickly flip the property, the lawsuit alleges, led to the untimely deaths of some of CABS’ residents. The nursing home also claims that it turned down higher bids for the property because Allure, led by Joel Landau, billed itself as a company with nursing home experience.

An attorney for Allure fired back that the company never agreed “to operate a nursing home for any period of time, much less forever.”

Earlier this month, Allure was hit with another lawsuit related to CABS. Sabr Group claimed that Allure repeatedly fell behind on a $20 million loan and was trying to force the lender to buy the property at a 60 percent markup from an earlier price.

In April, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas after Allure filed demolition plans for the nursing home, with the intention of replacing it with a seven-story, 241-unit rental building.

Allure is also at the center of the Rivington House scandal. The company negotiated to have the deed restriction removed from the Lower East Side property, paving the way for the sale of the nursing home to Slate Property Group and several partners. [NYP]Kathryn Brenzel 

Joel Landau -The Allure of Escaping Millions Richer – Sorry… No Pictures Please

rivington house

Dear Reader:

Joel Landau, through a series of demands and other bullying tactics sent in the form of threatening letters from Wordpress, claimed an array of Copyright violations. The poor little man did not like having his face on our pages. So he had his pictures forcibly removed from our pages and our archives with threat of shutting us down for Copyright Violations. While that makes us kinda want to put a Metadata link to his name and Allure Group on every single one of our pages, so that he and Allure will forever be synonymous with every ill, morally bankrupt and skewed activity referenced on these pages (particularly where healthcare facilities are concerned), we figured that would simply be unproductive. Instead, we are going to publish every article about Landau and Allure. We will publish every piece of information available. Just send it over. We hope that one day someone, more clever than him and his band of merry loophole-finders, figures out a way to make him pay for his reprehensible though remarkably clever behavior. He is another person who manipulates the lives of our most vulnerable citizens for ill-gotten gains. To Joel Landau and Shlomo Rechnitz – L’chaim…

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/30/city-admits-it-doesnt-have-a-legal-case-against-allure-group-over-rivington-house/

City admits it doesn’t have a legal case against Allure Group over Rivington House

Mayor said law department can’t find “pathway” to seeking restitution from Joel Landau’s firm

The city’s hands may be tied when it comes to seeking restitution for the controversial sale of a Manhattan nursing home to a luxury condo developer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in April vowed to sue Allure Group for flipping the property at 45 Rivington Street, said Thursday that the city’s lawyers “cannot find an actual pathway” to restitution.

“I support anything that would get us further restitution for what happened,” the mayor said at a press conference, Politico reported. “I made very clear my anger at the way the private-sector firm handled things,” he said. However, “So far, our law department cannot find an actual pathway.”

Allure made $72 million when it sold 45 Rivington to Slate Property Group, after convincing the city to lift a deed restriction on the site. The de Blasio administration maintained that Allure did not tell the city it intended to sell the building to a developer while negotiations were taking place. But a report from the Department of Investigations found that reps for Allure told the city in March 2015 that if the deed weren’t lifted, it would consider a conversion of the property to luxury apartments.

Comptroller Scott Stringer also accused Allure of misleading City Hall, but mostly faulted the de Blasio administration for mishandling information at virtually every turn. Allure maintains it did nothing wrong.

The mayor has insisted he was not aware of the deal.

Allure, led by Joel Launda, has maintained it did not lie to the city, but earlier this month, the mayor signed a bill to increase oversight of deed restrictions.

Meanwhile, the city hired two law firms this year to represent it in the Rivington deal, and in campaign finance investigations. The contracts are for more than $10 million, Politico reported. [Politico]E.B. Solomont

“Shame on Shlomo” – Are Rechnitz’s Nursing Homes Safe?

Life and Death in Health Care’s Trenches

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/06/life-and-death-in-health-cares-trenches/

Is a nursing home a safe place? The question is not, is a nursing home a nice place? Not much room for argument there. Nursing home are not popular places. The question here, though, is it is a safe place?

It seems not, certainly not if the home is operated by Brius Healthcare, the largest chain of nursing homes in California, with 81 facilities statewide, and a handful in Nevada and Texas. This chain – increasingly the typical organizational form in the for profit nursing home industry – is owned by the southern California tycoon, Shomo Rechnitz; Brius controls 1 in 14 nursing home beds in California, an empire with facilities from San Diego to Eureka.

Rechnitz, who purchased his first nursing home in 2006, is called an entrepreneur and philanthropist by admirers; he is a supporter of Jewish and Israeli enterprises, but considers himself nondenominational; he also bankrolls right-wing California politicians. His business depends on funding from the government – Medicaid and Medicare. Rechnitz, a success story for many, a rising star in the ranks of West Coast billionaires, is now in trouble, as is his industry. Shlomo Rechnitz and Brius face charges from the media, the state Attorney General, the police, nursing home reformers, patient advocates and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

The important new report, “California Nursing Home Chains By Ownership Type: Facility and Residential Characteristics, Staffing and Quality Outcomes in 2015,” written Leslie Ross and Charlene Harrington, UC San Francisco professors, while not focused on Brius, spells out the issues in great detail. More new information is also available from the California Association for Nursing Home Reform (CANHRA). The Sacramento Bee has an investigative report on nursing homes available on line and now NUHW has put up its own website, documenting Brius’ misdeeds and supporting its members own fight for decent contracts – BriusWatch.org.

The nursing home industry was transformed in the 1950s and 60’s, as small, non-profit providers were increasingly replaced by for-profit companies and these flourished through to the end of the century, fueled by revenues from Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, however, the industry has been in slow decline, despite the continuing aging of the population; still in 2015 there were 15,640 nursing homes in the US with 1.5 million residents. California has 1200 nursing homes located in 56 of its counties.

The shift to for-profit chains has taken place in this context; private owners now increasingly rely on consolidation – increasing market share – in place of actual growth; aggressive chain managements, Brius excels here, acquire failing facilities at bargain-basement prices often through bankruptcy proceedings. These facilities most often already have quality problems – problems which persist and often worsen under Brius.

Today, the deepening crises in mental health and homelessness present possible new clients, as well as, of course, new problems. The number of mentally ill and young residents living in California nursing homes has risen over the past number of years, creating a volatile population mix that produces safety and patient care challenges for traditional elderly nursing home residents and nursing home staff. According to the Sacramento Bee report, California for-profit nursing home owners admit acute-care and non-traditional residents which can yield as much as $800 per day for those with Medicare. Thus the chains have targeted services to post-acute care and rehabilitation – services that receive the highest Medicare reimbursement at the expense of long-stay residents.

Seventy-five percent of California nursing homes are now owned by chains. These chains have cut nursing levels and reduced support staff, and overseen an unmistakable decline in quality of care and life for clients, as well as the working conditions, wages and benefits of its employees.

Of all the areas with “serious quality problems” examined by Ross and Harrington, staffing is singled out; and the fact that California’s “Medicaid reimbursement rate methodology has only weak incentives to increase staffing and has very limited financial accountability standards and reporting requirements.” The result – “dangerously low staffing levels” are endemic in the industry.

They also note that all the evidence suggests that “high staffing levels, especially RN staff, have been associated with higher quality of care…”

Studies, including these, show, not surprisingly, that “facilities with the highest profit margins have been found to have the poorest quality” and, again not surprisingly, that “government and business interests have been supporting the for-profit nursing home industry that controls the long-term care field to the disadvantage of non-profit organizations and home-and community based services.”

Back to Brius. “What we’re seeing at the Brius locations is quite concerning,” says Molly Davies, administrator for Los Angeles’ Long-term Care Ombudsman Programs, the programs that investigate nursing home complaints. “We have seen patterns of poor care, patterns of substandard care in some of these facilities.

“The dangerously low staffing levels in many California nursing homes have resulted in many serious quality problems.” The result? Davies says that in far too many cases her staff has witnessed what can only be seen as a “flagrant disregard for human life.”

***

BriusWatch.org has gathered the evidence for us, the details in human lives. Here are examples, all shocking, all inexcusable:

In 2009, Rechnitz purchased an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Fresno County, then converted it into a nursing home. In 2011, a state investigation found numerous health hazards at the aging facility. Surveyors cited bathrooms with standing water and toilets brimming with fecal matter; the poorly maintained sewage treatment system downhill from the home resulted in workers having to manually dispose of feces in garbage bags.

Inspectors also detailed a gastrointestinal illness that swept through the facility in September and October, sickening numerous residents and staff. One 75-year-old resident, who contracted salmonella during the outbreak while recuperating from a mastectomy, died in late September following a wound infection.

Inspectors found that staff lacked the training to properly change her dressing, and she was admitted to an acute care hospital with sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection, state documents show. Doctors discovered that a foam sponge used in the dressing had been left behind by staff and was growing into her skin; she died within a week. (Sacramento Bee, June 13, 2015)

***

In Montrose, CA, a 30-year-old paraplegic man living at the Brius’ Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre died three months into his stay. In July of 2010, Armando Reagan had begun bleeding profusely and cried out to nursing home staff for help. Fifteen minutes later his sheets were soaked and a pool of blood had collected on the floor.

By the time paramedics arrived and transported him to a nearby hospital emergency room his breathing was labored and heartbeat rapid. He died there within an hour. The Los Angeles County coroner reported Reagan died from hemorrhagic shock due to chronic infections stemming from an old wound and from neglect by the nursing home.   (Kaiser Health News. October 27, 2014)

***

In Roseville, CA in 2012, 82-year-old Genine Zizzo entered Brius’ Roseville Point Health and Wellness Center in good health and only needing physical therapy after a fall at home. Ten days later, she was transferred to an acute-care hospital in a coma and later died of multiple organ failures. Her family alleges that the nursing home used anti-psychotic medicines as a form of chemical restraint, which led to her death.   (ABC Local News Sacramento, June 17, 2015.)

***

In November 2015, Courtney Cargill signed herself out of a suburban Los Angeles nursing home. and took off on foot.

Cargill scribbled her initials on the sign-out sheet at Brius’ South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital and declared her destination: “Library etc.”

Instead, Cargill – a 57-year-old resident known by nursing home staff to be suicidal and delusional – walked unsupervised to a nearby service station and bought a plastic jug and gallon of gas. She walked a quarter-mile to a second service station where, at 8:05 a.m., a surveillance camera recorded her heading to the back, stripping off her clothes, dousing her body with gasoline and lighting herself on fire.

She walked away, down the sidewalk and into a neighbor’s driveway. Cargill died at a Los Angeles hospital less than 24 hours later, with second- and third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body.

Prior to this, staff observed Courtney Cargill “having hallucinations, hearing voices and talking to herself;” nevertheless she requested and obtained an unsupervised pass to leave the nursing home for up to four hours a day.

“There is no evidence,” according to the family’s attorney, “that Courtney’s physician made a determination that Courtney was capable of safely being on an independent, unsupervised pass, as required by the facility’s policy…Instead of providing mental health services, defendants took money from Courtney to house her in a ‘room and board’ fashion, content to let her smoke cigarettes and watch TV all day.” (Pasadena Star, October, 8, 2015).

***

Five weeks after Geneva Hilton, 68, was admitted to Brius’ Centinela Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre, West (Inglewood, CA), she was dead. According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Geneva Hilton entered the nursing home with clear lungs and in good health. Five weeks later, she was suffering from pneumonia, dehydration and a body temperature lower than 80 degrees.

During the investigation, a CBS reporter went undercover into the facility where he heard patients moaning aloud and his producer noticed the smell of human waste. Czersale Hilton, Geneva Hilton’s daughter, is suing the nursing home, alleging elder abuse and negligence. She joins a growing list of others suing Rechnitz and/or Brius over patient abuse and neglect. (CBS Local, Los Angeles CA, May 17, 2016.)

***

A Brius nursing home in South Pasadena ran afoul of the state partly because it recruited convicted felons, probationers, rapists and robbers as patients.

Instead of a median age of about 75 years old, residents at the former South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital had an average age of 37, Police Chief Arthur Miller said. He accused the former nursing home of sending recruiting teams to Los Angeles to get new patients.

“In that lower age population, there were convicted felons, probationers, drug users, rapists, robbers,” Miller said. “Traditionally police officers do not go to convalescent hospitals on a routine basis, especially to handle the crimes that I just described. … The staff at the time were not equipped for it. The hospital was not equipped for it, and it wasn’t licensed to do that type of rehabilitation.” The facility was closed. (Pasadena Star, October 20, 2015)

***

Between October 2015 and January 2015, three of Rechnitz’s facilities, including South Pasadena, were decertified by the federal government, an economic kiss of death that is extremely rare.

This punishment strips a nursing home of its crucial Medicare funding until it can demonstrate improvement, or is closed or sold. Since 2010, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decertified only six out of more than 1,200 nursing homes in California.

Rechnitz controls his California nursing homes through a web of 130 companies. He has an ownership stake in many other companies, including a pharmaceutical company, two medical supply corporations, and a management services business.

This complex structure serves to conceal the nursing homes’ ownership and shield Brius, its owner, and its assets from lawsuits. Rechnitz’ 81 nursing homes and assisted living facilities operate under as many different names, and each is managed and owned by parent companies that also have different names.  This allows Brius to operate below the radar. The name Brius does not appear in the Department of Public Health’s database of licensed nursing homes. It also potentially allows Brius’ owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, to profit at multiple stages of his corporation’s convoluted healthcare delivery system.

***

I spoke with two Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) who work at Brius’ Novato Health Care Center in Marin County, a large facility with 180 beds.

Sue Journette, is a CNA; she’s worked for Brius for nine years. Ida Bantilan, also a CNA, has worked there for ten years. They both make the long commute to (very) upscale Novato from Vallejo, a North Bay city still recovering from the long recession of 2008. “There’s no question of living anywhere near here,” says Journette. As with many co-workers, they were born elsewhere, Journette in Thailand and Bantilan in the Philippines.

They both belong to the National Union of Healthcare Workers; both were active in NUHW’s recent successful organizing campaign at the Novato site.

They each explained economic issues in bargaining now underway. There had been no raises since 2011, though management had come up with 30 cents an hour, a bribe they thought. CNA’s started at about $14 an hour, they were making more, $16 and $17 an hour. It was “not nearly enough,” many co-workers work two jobs, often in two separate nursing homes.

“The housekeepers make less,” according to Bantilan. ‘and so do the janitors,” adds Journette, “and the laundry workers and kitchen staff, their work is hard”

The real issue for them, however, was staffing. Management reduced employees’ work shifts from eight hours to 7.5 hours with no reduction in the workload. This meant they each had responsibility for nine or ten, sometimes as many as twelve people. Bantilan explained: “I start their day. I get them up, shower them and clean them up, dress them, try to make them look nice and get them to breakfast. Many of these people are long term, many have dementia. They can be difficult.”

The new shift schedules also made the work harder, according to Journette. “When we come on, the last worker has already gone. We get no report, no sharing information, no explanation of what’s going on with the resident. No continuity.

“This work is not easy because so many of our people are sick, they are old, they are in bad moods, they are not feeling good, they miss their homes, their families. Many cannot walk…some have HIV…yes, the work is also dangerous, many injuries” I asked if they agreed with reports that this work was amongst the most dangerous of US occupations. They did, “It’s the lifting moving, pushing, pulling. Back stress.”

They came back to pay. Bantilan: “It is important. When you work two jobs, you’re tired. You’re in a bad mood before you begin. Then, no one wants these jobs, they can’t get replacements, so when someone doesn’t come in, you can be forced to do another shift.

“Sometimes when they do find replacements, it doesn’t work. They don’t offer training. Or maybe a day, or two days. We’ve all met someone new in the morning, only to learn later that they left in tears before lunch.”

Journette and Bantilan learned of the NUHW when they were told of the strike last year at the San Rafael facility. That’s also when they learned that they were all employed by Brius.

***

The National Union of Heathcare Workers is a new California union, born in the wreckage of SEIU’s trusteeship of its California local United Healthcare workers in 2009. It has grown dramatically since then, now to 12,000 members, mostly hospital workers. This includes 1,000 new members in the last six months alone, the result of victories including at Kindred’s Bay Area Hospital, the Oakland Children’s Hospital and Tenet’s Fountain Valley Hospital & Medical Center, Orange County’s largest for-profit hospital.

NUHW prides itself in being worker-led, democratic and militant – and in not being afraid to take on employers, whatever the size, in California several of the country’s largest hospital corporations (Kaiser, Tenet, Dignity, Kaiser, Sutter). NUHW sees its origins in the long history of trade unions; its own roots are in the drive for industrial unionism in San Francisco in the 1930s.

It also prides itself as being not just for its members but also an advocate of patients and the public. It has from its beginning supported free, universal healthcare. It’s less than a year now since NUHW therapists and social workers won their hallmark victory at Kaiser, winning a contract that featured fundamental advances in mental health care, above all in staffing.

Sal Rosselli, the President of NUHW, sees its long-term goal as an industrial union of healthcare workers, all healthcare workers in one union, even as its priority now is hospitals.

NUHW staff readily admit that organizing nursing homes is difficult: the work units tend to be small, turnover is high, employers are for the most part fiercely hostile to unions. Still workers want unions, all investigations report this. “So what can we do.” asks Rosselli, “when workers come to us? We can’t turn them down.”

It’s informative here to recall that nursing home and home care workers were important in the 2008/9 dispute that wrecked United Healthcare Workers (UHW-SEIU), then 150,000 strong. Today, SEIU-UHW is half its former size, it is factionalized and scandal-ridden: long-term workers have been shifted out to another local and nursing home workers have been abandoned altogether.

Until, trusteeship, UHW policy had been “Stronger Together,” a strategy based on uniting healthcare workers and using the power of the best organized to support the interests of the least.

In 2008, however, the national SEIU leadership wanted long term care workers organized separately, isolated from the unions far more powerful hospital workers. At the same time, they proposed an “organizing strategy” they called “The Alliance.” This would ally the union with nursing home management (yes, people like Rechnitz) – the purpose to lobby Sacramento for increased Medicaid funding for the industry. In return, the employers would give SEIU “neutrality,” that is, a “free” hand in organizing – but (the catch) only when and where the employers agreed. The Alliance would also sanction secret negotiations, long term contracts (one contemporary SEIU contract in Washington State was for ten years), no right to picket, no right to strike.

There was another component, worth mentioning. The agreement would oblige the union to press for tort reform that would limit the patient’s rights to sue nursing homes, even in cases of neglect, abuse and death, an issue of the greatest importance to nursing home management, as we have here seen.

One last point: The Alliance mandated the union to oppose patient advocates’ demands for staffing minimums (and any legislation relating to the nursing homes without industry approval).

The Alliance meant, in no uncertain terms, willfully disregarding the crisis in staffing that existed then and continues, all the worse, to this day. It also meant no free speech for caregivers, the “gag rule” and specifically it meant nursing home workers could not advocate for patients – patients who often had literally no one else in their lives.

The recent Sanders campaign revealed for all the massive support that exists today for “real” health care reform – for universal coverage based on need, not on ability to pay and not for profit. The American nursing home industry is, perhaps, the extreme example of our healthcare system in crisis, and of everything that’s wrong with it.

These “homes” are 21st century sweatshops for the millions who staff them, they are “homes” which are not homes; it is an industry that warehouses and isolates our most vulnerable and removes them from sight– and for a profit.

“We love our patients, we would not do this work if we didn’t,” Journette and Bantilan agree, emphatically. “We need the union because we need rights to do our work right; so the residents, they rely on us, they so often have no one else. They need the union, too.”

***

And on it goes…now Humboldt County.

On September 8, the residents of the Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Facility… [were told] why that facility and two others locally may be shutting down, forcing almost 200 patients into an uncertain future, and possibly into care hundreds of miles away.

The potential closure of the facilities — Eureka, Seaview and Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness — would cut the number of local skilled nursing beds by more than half and came as a surprise to many patients and caregivers. The management company for all five of Humboldt’s major facilities — Rockport Healthcare Company [Bris] – did not notify patients before the information leaked to local media in late July. (North Coast Journal, Sept. 15, 2016)

NUMW members at St Joseph’s Health have joined the movement to keep these facilities open.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

AG Schneiderman – The Allure of a Photo-Op or Do you Actually Care about the Elderly???

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Have Restrictions Really Been Tightened? Has Anything Changed? Nope…

In June, shortly after the Allure scandal, Attorney General Schneiderman was calling the group unscrupulous, openly stating that tighter restrictions were required so that the laws could not be so easily circumvented.

But the crux of his speeches were irrespective of the health and safety of the sick and elderly who are misplaced by Nursing Home operators looking to syphon an additional buck.

If one scours the news today, it is difficult to find anything that Schneiderman has either done or said on the subject since June. One must wonder whether his words were simple lip service and his photos scattered along the internet as campaign slogans. Allure cost New York City millions. But what got missed were the lives of the patients who had once graced the halls of Rivington. Rivington was not at the time, nor is it now in our view and exception. It was and continues to be the rule.

Schneiderman blocks sale of two nursing homes to Allure Group

June 2016 – Politico

The Allure Group, a nursing home operator that sold Rivington House on the Lower East Side to a condo developer earlier this year, is being blocked from two other property transactions by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who says the company misled government officials.

Schneiderman’s office is halting the sale of the nonprofit Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center and the Sts. Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to Allure, which paid the de Blasio administration $16 million last fall to remove any restrictions on the use of Rivington House. That action allowed the former nonprofit AIDS residence to be sold to Slate Property Group for $116 million — a move that is under investigation and has become a blemish on the mayor’s record.

In letters to the nursing homes’ attorneys, provided to POLITICO New York, Schneiderman’s Charities Bureau lays out its concerns with Allure.

“Joel Landau (principal at Allure) made misrepresentations to the Department of Health that New Rivington would continue to operate a nursing facility at the site,” reads the four-page letter, signed by Sean Courtney, enforcement section chief at the Charities Bureau.

The letter goes on to say that the 45 Rivington St. facility is currently empty as Slate prepares for construction.

“The not-for-profit Rivington House entity, which the Allure Group came to control in 2015, did not, as was required under the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, either seek to dissolve or to obtain approval for disposing of its nursing home operations at 45 Rivington Street,” it states.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-

Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

 

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Attorney General Seeks To Block Sale Of Coney Island Nursing Home To Scandalized Operator

June 2016

The New York attorney general’s office is trying to block the sale of a Coney Island nursing home, and another facility in Harlem, to a company at the center of a real estate scandal related to nursing center on the Lower East Side.

The Allure Group, whose sale of the Rivington House nursing center in February prompted investigations by three different agencies, wants to purchase the Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Coney Island, as well as the Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center, the New York Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office reportedly sent letters informing both centers he would not support “any proposed sales of not-for-profit organizations, in particular nursing homes, to the Allure Group.”

The Attorney General’s office reviews the sale of assets by a non-profit in New York. The organizations must then get court approval.

The Allure Group, a nursing home operator, is under investigation by the attorney general, the New York City comptroller and the city’s Investigation Department over its $116 million dollar sale of the Rivington House to a developer. Allure group had pledged to keep the facility open as a health center for at least two years when it paid $16 million for the city to drop deed restrictions on the property, according to the Times.

The attorney general’s office also alleges Allure Group purchased another nursing home in Bedford-Stuyvesant last year and closed it months later with plans to demolish the building, the Times reports.

“Allure made clear and repeated promises to continue the operation of two nursing homes for the benefit of a vulnerable population — promises that proved to be false,” and attorney general spokesman told the Times. “Until we conclude our investigation, we will object to Allure buying additional nursing homes.”

A lawyer for Allure denied the company had misled officials.

Some content on this page was disabled on October 13, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from David Rosenberg. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/

Slate should not be allowed to go forward with the city-backed Brooklyn project

rivington house

 

City should not have awarded housing deal to buyer of former nursing home, local groups say

Slate Property Group, which will convert the Rivington House nursing home into condos, was picked to develop the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1566aa5acdc1d5c8

A developer that conspired to dupe city officials about plans for a former nursing home should not be handed the reins on a massive residential project on city-owned land, outraged community groups say.

A month after the de Blasio administration lifted the now-famous deed restriction at the former Rivington House nursing home on the Lower East Side, which led to the sale of the building to Slate Property Group for use as luxury condos, the city awarded a large and lucrative city-backed housing deal in Crown Heights to the developer.

While vying for the job of redeveloping the 500,000-square-foot Bedford-Union Armory, Slate was simultaneously trying to keep its May 2015 agreement to buy Rivington House a secret from city officials out of concern they would halt the deal, according to a Department of Investigation report released last month.

Local groups now argue that Slate should not be allowed to go forward with the city-backed Brooklyn project. New York Communities for Change, the Crown Heights Tenant Union, affordable-housing nonprofit the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, residents’ group the Crown Heights Community Council and unions DC-9 and Local 79 plan to protest the plans Wednesday outside the sprawling former military complex, which will be converted into an apartment building, townhouses and a recreational facility. Slate has partnered with developer Donald Capoccia, who is a donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and nonprofit group CAMBA on the redevelopment project.

“It’s clear that they cannot be trusted,” said NYCC spokeswoman Renata Pumarol of Slate principals David Schwartz and Martin Nussbaum. “I think the city already knows this because of the Rivington deal. We should not trust Slate with the Armory or any developments moving forward because it’s clear they don’t have the best interests of the residents of New York City.”

Pumarol cited another instance where Slate agreed to build affordable apartments in Ridgewood, Queens, in exchange for a zoning change and then flipped the building, which sold for $18.5 million. Her group released a report detailing their objections to Slate, part of a “Real Gentrifiers” campaign against for-profit affordable housing developers.

Slate did not respond to a request for comment.

Slate and Capoccia’s BFC won a 99-year lease on the city-owned property between Union Street and President Street along Bedford Avenue. Half of the 330 apartments in a planned rental building will have set affordable rents, according to EDC, and half market-rate. The city also sold the developers part of the land along President Street upon which they plan to build market-rate townhouse condos. Much of the space will be devoted to a sports facility funded by basketball star Carmelo Anthony.

The project proposal has yet to go through the city’s land-use approval process.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. stood by the project plans in a statement. “The Bedford Courts development team was selected through an open and competitive process because they offered the highest quality proposal, and the one that best met the needs and priorities outlined by community leaders,” spokesman Anthony Hogrebe said. “EDC was not aware of any details of the Rivington sale prior to our selection. We look forward to bringing much needed affordable housing, community space, and good jobs to Crown Heights.”

The project has garnered support from local elected officials and community leaders, EDC said.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office said senior City Hall officials knew nothing of Slate’s involvement in the Rivington House deal until February 2016, when the deal was made public and two months after the EDC announced it had selected the company for the Armory project.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who oversees the EDC, had pushed to try and use Rivington House for affordable housing as early as 2014, Politico reported, but was told the site would remain a nursing home.

In May 2015, Slate signed a contract with Allure to buy Rivington House, city investigations found. Allure’s principal Joel Landau encouraged Slate to keep mum on the deed change and sale, according to an investigative report from comptroller Scott Stringer.

“After striking a deal to sell Rivington House, Mr. Landau urged the buyers not to discuss the transaction in public so as not to tip off the stakeholders to his plans,” Stringer wrote in the report. “One of Mr. Landau’s attorneys went so far as to advise that the buyers should ‘KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT. The deal is all over the street from their investors and it could F!@# up the deed restriction being lifted [and] union if they know sales price.'”

And Slate in turn directed its employees to keep the sale a secret, the DOI found in its report on the deal. 

“On May 14, 2015, a Slate representative told its employees: ‘[D]o not discuss this deal … the seller [Allure] is very concerned that the city and union will find out that he is in contract to sell at the price that we are buying it which will directly impact his ability to have the deed restriction removed. Once he has it removed we can do whatever we want,'” the DOI report said.

Slate managed to keep the secret from city officials, according to the mayor’s office, and the deed restriction lift went off without a hitch in November 2015. Starting on Dec. 1, Lower East Side residents expressed concern to City Hall’s Community Affairs Unit about Allure Group’s plans to sell the nursing home to City Hall, according to Stringer, and informed them that a construction firm working with the buyer expected the property to be converted to market-rate housing. The information was shared with senior officials throughout City Hall, according to Stringer’s report.Local residents had spotted Slate architects walking around Rivington, DOI found.

But a spokesman for the mayor’s office maintained that senior City Hall officials were not aware “of even any sort of rumblings about a flip” until 2016. It was not until February that Glen’s staff scrambled to try and undo Allure’s Rivington House sale, to no avail, and even then they did not know Slate was involved, he said.

The groups protesting the Crown Heights project also argue that Slate is not planning enough affordable housing for the armory site. Of the 330 apartments it will build, 66 will be reserved for those making 40% and 50% below the area median income, while 164 will be market-rate. The rest, 99 units, will be for those earning 110% of the area median income—which is not the median income for Crown Heights but for the entire city and some suburban counties.

The 66 low-income affordable apartments are on par with the median income of Crown Heights, a spokesman for BFC noted.

But most of the units are not “in sync with the neighborhood AMI,” said Pumarol, who argued that the project’s current breakdown will exacerbate gentrification in the neighborhood instead of helping to mitigate the displacement of local residents.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

 

 

Who Would have Thought Ageing Could be So Lucrative?

 

What Happens When you Mix a Law firm, Politics and a Multimillion Dollar “Ageing” Industry?

Contributor Opinion, Lost Messiah, August 1, 2016

We are posting the following as a sort of related story to the picketing by Shlomo Rechnitz’s own nursing home employees, who seem to have more decency and care for their charges than Rechnitz. What follows is the East Coast’s version of the nursing home mafia, or at least one of them. We are fairly certain there is far more to follow.  

The AG has gone after Allure for ‘misrepresentations’ having to do with the churning of the Rivington House & CABs Bed-Stuy properties. Both of which were transitioned into luxury housing. The idea that ‘misrepresentation’ of bricks & cement are the priority for those in charge of justice shows you how ass-backward are the ethics of our elected officials.

Instead of preventing these unscrupulous amoral owner/operators from doing more harm to the frail and weak, to the disabled who cannot speak for themselves, and preventing these dangerous owners who lie about their intentions to care for their patients; it takes financial transactions to have the AG step up.  

Is it better than nothing? Yes…but not much.

Assertions of ‘supply and demand’ excuses and the parsing of deed restrictions in the lawsuit are the sole prioritized subject matter for the courts!? Killing off the disabled in sub-par nursing homes is not of any interest. The Department of Health “approves” the applications of these same owner/operators who have already been guilty of blatant disregard for the lives of those entrusted in their care.

Unless someone is maimed or dies…and a malpractice lawyer is hired (sorry, Mr. Fensterman, you would be conflicted) -these Nursing Home owners have unfettered access to more facilities, more fluid deed restrictions and more money.

Re the AG trying to stop Allure:

Context means so much…

The firm of Abrams Fensterman & Fensterman are Allure’s counselors in contesting the AG’s challenge for their effort to acquire the Greater Harlem Nursing Rehab facility and another nursing home. This case is currently being heard in Manhattan Supreme Court (Index 155305/2016). Fensterman, as already reported in Lost Messiah, has a long sketchy history and tentacles not only to Albany-and to Schumer in D.C. but also to deBlasio in NYC. We are posting prior forwarded links below as a matter of convenient reference.

Fensterman, dear Fensterman, is the Consigliere of the Nursing Home ultra-Orthodox mafia… The Rubin(s)/Landau -were the state’s DOH appointed Receivers in 2014 & were given the opportunity by a complicit NYS Public Health and  Health Planning Council (appointees of (corrupt) Cuomo) to get their foothold in this Harlem Rehab-in order to buy and inevitably (as they did with the churning of the Rivington Nursing Home and the Bed-Stuy CABS facilities) leverage it for sale. 

We also believe that they may have played financial “Twister” with Medicaid, Medicare and Workers Compensation in the process. They have employed the Fensterman attorneys as their defense team. In fact, Fensterman seems to have made defending the questionable business tactics of nursing home owners, and fighting for additional nursing homes for his clients a lucrative legal industry.

The coup d’grace is that Long Island’s Fensterman recently opened a branch of his office in Brooklyn with County Dem Boss and ‘appointer’ of  judges, Frank Seddio and his partner Frank Carone. Ready to make sure that all of the ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn owners of nursing homes and long term care facilities know who to hire as the lawsuits come rolling in. Hard to know which judges have Seddio to thank for their seats…

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/nyregion/reinventing-long-term-care-and-endorsing-firms-accused-of-fraud.html

Excerpt from above:

Mr. Fensterman is past chairman of fund-raising for Mr. Cuomo on Long Island, and his Lake Success law firm has donated more than a half-million dollars to candidates of both parties over the past decade, records show, including more than $17,700 to Mr. Cuomo and $43,291.25 to Senator Skelos, the Senate Republican leader. Excellent and the Fenstermans’ separate contributions include another $13,500 to Governor Cuomo.

https://michaelamon.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/how-a-long-island-nursing-home-empire-got-its-way/

Excerpt from above:

“Howard Fensterman, SentosaCare’s chief attorney, is Schumer’s Long Island finance chairman and a top fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, chaired by Schumer. Fensterman, along with the SentosaCare executives he represents, said they had supported Schumer for years, well before he acted on their behalf.”

The Sick Looting of Home Health Care

Excerpt from above:

More problems surfaced when the media got wind that Fensterman, Landa’s attorney, was lining up contributions for Cuomo’s campaigns. Both the Voice and Newsday reported that Cuomo had received donations from partners in a company under investigation. The campaign quickly returned $6,000 from Landa. Fensterman said his own donations were fine, since he was no longer seeking to become a partner. Actually, he simply had his wife, Lori, replace him as a would-be shareholder.

http://www.howardfensterman.com/in-the-news/bill-de-blasio

In October, 2013, Mr. Fensterman hosted a fundraiser for NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio at his Long Island residence, where over ninety Long Island community leaders gathered to show their support for the Democratic nominee.

So while the optics would seem to be promising-this case MUST be followed closely. Perhaps in his own evaluation, the political gains for Schneiderman from newsworthy attention of the public will be considered worth the ‘sturm und drang’ from the Hasidic community-Schneiderman’s former  ‘sponsors’ and patrons?