2012-04-20 / Top Stories

Levine Seeks $1.2M In Bankruptcy Court

By Howard Schwach


A sign on the former Peninsula Hospital Center tells potential clients that the hospital is closed and that they should go to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway instead. A sign on the former Peninsula Hospital Center tells potential clients that the hospital is closed and that they should go to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway instead. Former Peninsula Hospital Center CEO Robert Levine, who many believe was a driving force in bringing the vital hospital to wrack and ruin, is asking the federal bankruptcy court for $1.2 million, court documents show.

That total comes from three separate filings that Levine made in October of 2011, shortly after resigning his post.

His filings with the Eastern District court demand $800,400 in severance pay and more than $427,000 for termination of contract, documents show.

Levine reportedly resigned from his post at the hospital under fire shortly after MediSys, the healthcare giant, pulled its sponsorship, causing a crisis and a near-closedown by the hospital.

Levine was not out of work for long, however. Two months later, MediSys hired Levine as the COO of Flushing Hospital Center, another hospital owned by the firm.

With Revival taking over the troubled hospital and forcing the employment of Todd Miller as the new CEO, Levine had no place to go but out.

Now that the hospital is closed, perhaps for good, employees who are out of work look at Levine’s demand for more than a million dollars with contempt.

“Is he out of his mind,” asked former nurse Mary Liz Grosseto, one of the leaders in the attempt to keep the hospital open the past few months. “That’s just unbelievable.”

Nurse Mary Kampa told Daily News reporter Irving DeJohn, “The devastation that he left behind – he’s got some gall. He has a nice, cushy job and the rest of us are out of work.”

Dr. Wayne Dodakian, formerly a doctor at the hospital and the man who filed a last-minute lawsuit against the bankruptcy trustee to keep the hospital open, told DeJohn that Levine should repay his salary for the last few months he was at the hospital rather than asking for even more money.

“He ran the hospital into the ground,” Dodakian said. “He was one of the worst things to ever happen to Peninsula.”

Trustee Lori Lapin Jones has placed the sale of the hospital in the hands of a broker, who, reports say, will sell the nursing home as a unit and then the hospital and its land piecemeal. It is unclear whether or not the hospital’s operating certificate has been returned to the State Department of Health.

If so, experts say, it would be difficult for the facility to remain as a hospital.

If not, then the broker can sell the facility as a hospital to another healthcare provider, the source says.

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