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Judges appoint mediator in LICH dispute, orders SUNY Downstate to detail LICH’s assets

SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been ordered to give a give a full written account of every dollar and asset spent and transferred from Long Island College Hospital (LICH) from the day they purchased the 156-year-old community hospital on May 29, 2011.

The order came on Thursday, June 27, from Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Carolyn E. Demarest, who specified that the report must include details not just about LICH’s existing assets and funds, but also the income from LICH’s properties. The report should also include details about the LICH assets that SUNY wants to sell or otherwise get rid of.

The report is due by August 5.

SUNY Downstate has stated that their lawyers are reviewing Judge Demarest’s order.

SUNY also received another blow, this time from State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes. Baynes has appointed retired Appellate Division Court Judge William C. Thompson, Sr.–mayoral candidate Bill Thompson’s father–in the role of mediator/referee between LICH and SUNY.

Baynes previously issued a restraining order against SUNY, preventing them from closing LICH or restricting services in any way. However, they violated that order, most recently, by closing LICH’s emergency room on June 20. SUNY previously shut down of the hospital’s residency program, cardiac catheterization lab, radiation oncology department and coronary care unit.

However, SUNY quickly appealed Baynes’ appointment of Thompson; they also appealed his order to close LICH. The appeal effectively allows SUNY to continue to keep LICH’s ER closed pending a decision on the appeal.

Advocates of keeping LICH open have accused SUNY Downstate of trying to close the community hospital in order to take advantage of selling its prime real estate near the Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

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