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Court Rules Against Orange County Legislature Over Valley View Nursing Home

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The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has ruled that the Orange County Legislature was wrong when it voted by a simple majority to create a local development corporation to sell the county’s Valley View nursing home.
Opponents who sued, who included residents and employees of the facility, challenged the legislature’s decision claiming lawmakers violated the provisions of the county charter, which says a two-thirds vote is needed.

State Supreme Court Justice Elaine Slobod had earlier ruled in the petitioners’ favor, in a matter represented by attorney Michael Sussman, that a two-thirds vote was needed.

The county appealed the decision and now, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, in a unanimous 4-0 vote, rejected the county’s motion to affirm the simple majority vote of the legislature.

County Legislator Michael Anagnostakis, who was among those who led the charge to keep Valley View in county hands, said this latest decision should put the issue to rest.

“As far as I am concerned, this five-year shameful saga to get rid of a service for our elderly, the nursing home, so that others could profit off the seniors, is now finally over. The people have won and the corruption has lost,” he said.

If the county so chooses, it could appeal to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

“Orange County followed the same model as was successfully leveraged in Ulster County,” said county spokesman Justin Rodriguez. “Seeking to privatize a major financial burden on the county made sense. However, we look forward to finding cost saving efficiencies and working with the legislature to find innovative ways to become a more fiscally sound government.”