CSEA may appeal judge’s decision in nursing home lawsuit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A union representing employees at The Villages of Orleans, the county-owned nursing home, may appeal a judge’s decision last week.

James Punch, acting State Supreme Court justice, sided with the county in a lawsuit that alleged the Orleans County Legislature improperly formed a local development corporation for the purpose of the selling the 120-bed nursing home.

CSEA, the union representing about 130 county employees at the nursing home, is reviewing options and considering an appeal.

“We are disappointed that the judge found the claims in our legal action to be legislative or premature, but that does not mean that our claims are incorrect,” said Cindy Troy, president of the CSEA Orleans County unit. “We will not back down from our belief that the Legislature acted incorrectly, and that The Villages of Orleans must remain public and available to county residents.”

CSEA’s lawsuit sought to invalidate the Orleans County Legislature’s resolution to create the LDC and transfer ownership of The Villages to the LDC.

The union filed the lawsuit last summer on behalf of petitioners Jan Standish and Mary A. Lewis, two union members who work at The Villages and who have relatives living there.

This is the second time Judge Punch ruled in favor of the county in a legal challenge about the LDC formed to sell the nursing home.

“I feel that the judge has once again ruled wisely and justly,” David Callard, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, said in a statement on Friday. “We felt confident that we had acted appropriately and legally and the court confirmed that.”

Four candidates – Gary Kent of Albion, Jack Gillman of Kendall, Gregory “Emil” Smith of Medina and Linda Rak of Lyndonville – have formed an independent “Save Our Nursing Home” party for the Nov. 5 election. They are challenging Republican-endorsed candidates.

Two other Democratic Party candidates, Fred Miller of Albion and Dave Schult of Waterport, also say they oppose selling the nursing home.