Rockland County nursing home buyers back out of deal

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NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Edwin Day announced on Wednesday that Sympaticare, LLC has pulled out of the deal to purchase the county’s Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center for $32 million after it “publicly stated that it fully intended to continue providing quality health care services to our community.”
He said by withdrawing from the deal in the 11th hour, the prospective
buyer confirms that it has failed the LDC, Summit Park Patients, residents,
medical staff and the people of Rockland County.”
Day said the county had hoped that Sympaticare “would play a role in stabilizing the financial future of Rockland County by acquiring Summit Park and investing millions of dollars to upgrade its services, provide care and keep jobs in Rockland County. Things did not work out the way we had hoped.”
The county executive said in the coming days, the county will have “difficult decisions to make and we will communicate those decisions after we have a chance to consult with our attorneys, the LDC and the legislature.”
County Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe said there is “no reason the sale… cannot proceed to conclusion.”
Wolfe said the head of Sympaticare has emailed all county legislators “that he remains committed to the transaction but needs more time in order to safely take over operations.” The chairman said Shully Braunstein, who heads up the company, said he is “still willing to negotiate a new closing date but that the county refused to negotiate.”
Wolfe said the legislature was told by both the county attorney and the counsel of the local development corporation that failure to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote would not prevent transfer of the leasehold interest in accordance with the purchase and sale agreement. There is no legal impediment to closing the deal.
The CSEA, which represents employees at Summit Park, criticized Day for “blaming everyone but himself for bad policy choices that impact real people,” said union spokeswoman Jessica Ladlee. “His administration failed to give Sympaticare the cooperation needed to make a smooth transition, and now patients, residents and workers may suffer.”
She said the union had “insisted Rockland officials follow the county charger if they were to sell Summit Park, but instead they spent untold taxpayer dollars on a shadowy LDC to bypass the very rules county leaders long ago put in place.”
Ladlee said the CSEA’s “intent all along has been to demand integrity from county leaders on behalf of our members and the people at Summit Park for whom they care. That will not change and we will continue to advocate on their behalf.”