Testimony begins in Valley View hearing
For the first day of testimony in the Valley View Nursing Home hearing, County Executive Ed Diana was a no show. YNN’s Venise Toussaint has more on what else happened on day one.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ORANGE COUNTY, NY. -- Four Valley View employees testified on the conditions, finances and issues plaguing the county owned nursing home. Notably missing from the day was County Executive Ed Diana. Diana was scheduled to be a key witness, answering tough questions about the facility’s management.
Orange County Legislator Mike Anagnostakis said, “I’m very disappointed because the executive was the one we were expecting today to give us very pertinent information. For him not to show up, I don’t understand that.”
Attorney Richard Golden, representing the executive branch, tells YNN he sent a letter to the committee on Wednesday, requesting it withdraw the subpoenas allowing employees to testify without being sworn under oath and without the penalty of perjury. Golden says Diana opted to wait for the committee’s formal response before taking the stand. The investigative committee, which was formed to look into the financial condition of Valley View, voted unanimously not to withdraw the subpoenas.
“The big issue is the money and the operations there have been a so called drain on the county treasury and so a number of the questions were trying to determine, what the expenses really are, why are they at that level what can be done to alter those expenses,” said legislative attorney Gerald Jacobowitz.
One employee answered questions about insufficient staffing and layoffs, detailing instances where nurses were forced to work excessive hours to cover shifts. Another employee testified about the facilities poor management, saying communication between administrators and staff was virtually non-existent and staff were left with no outlined goals, objectives or detailed cost savings plan.
The nursing home was slated to close last month after being defunded but legislators voted to use surplus funds to keep it open as they gather additional information.
Diana’s testimony has been rescheduled to Friday.