QUEENSBURY — The downstate nursing home employee who “owns” the former Warren County-owned nursing home is proposing to sell a majority share of it to his boss for $10, and that transaction is not sitting well with some Warren County supervisors.
Warren County sold what was then known as Westmount Health Facility and the land around it to mid-level managers of New York City-based Centers Health Care for $2.3 million in 2015.
The company has bought county-owned nursing homes around upstate New York, including in neighboring Essex, Washington and Fulton counties, as well as a number of private homes in the Glens Falls area.
Centers Health Care leaders negotiated the sale. But under state law, a corporation cannot own a nursing home, so the buyers typically put the home in the name of a corporate official. The county had planned to sell it to Centers chief executive officer Kenneth Rozenberg, but weeks before the sale, the buyer was switched to David Greenberg, an employee of Rozenberg’s.
That did not sit well with many county supervisors at the time, as the switch was believed to have occurred because Rozenberg could not make the purchase amid “immediate jeopardy” violations filed at two of his other nursing homes, former county homes in Washington and Essex counties.
Now that those state Department of Health violations have been resolved with fines, Rozenberg has proposed purchasing 51 percent of what is now known as Warren Center from Greenberg for $10, which prompted some Warren County supervisors to question whether they have standing to question that transfer.
“Is this something we should interject ourselves in, because they are our residents?” Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Michael Wild asked Tuesday during a Board of Supervisors committee meeting.
Glens Falls 4th Ward Supervisor William Loeb, who chairs the county board’s Support Services Committee, said he would ask the county attorney’s office to review what, if any, options the county has.
Glens Falls 2nd Ward Supervisor Peter McDevitt said the situation was another reason why he advocated for a sale of the former county-owned home to local Fort Hudson Health Systems instead of Centers Health Care, which has had numerous quality of care problems at its homes.
“We had a four-star facility, and now it’s a one-star facility,” said Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Doug Beaty, who also opposed the sale.
Queensbury resident Travis Whitehead, a government watchdog who opposed the sale to Centers Health Care, called the Board of Supervisors’ attention to the proposed sale, and questioned the ethics of it since Rozenberg could not have purchased the home in 2015. He said he believed Centers has violated the sale contract.
A spokesman for Centers Health Care said Wednesday that the company had no comment on the situation.
The proposed sale is to be reviewed by the state Department of Health.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the percentage share of the proposed home purchase.