SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former St. Clare’s hospital workers have been looking for answers and compensation for nearly five years now. They’ve looked to the state and the Church for help, since they received letters on October 18, 2018, notifying them that they wouldn’t receive some or all of their pension money.
Since then, the Albany Diocese declared bankruptcy, and many hearings have been held as the pensioners continue pursuing litigation.
“This has been an ongoing tragedy that continues, and yes, next week will be going past five years that these outstanding healthcare workers from St. Clare’s hospital, 1,100 of them, had the rug pulled out from under them,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, a longtime advocate for the pensioners.
Over the years since the pensioners opened those letters, they’ve tried to get meetings with the governor, filed a lawsuit against the Diocese, and joined forces with a similar lawsuit filed by Attorney General Letitia James.
“The attorneys from the Attorney General’s office are working with our AARP [Foundation] attorneys and staff every single day,” said Mary Hartshorne, Chair of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance.
Last week, pensioners–referred to as the Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Diocesan bankruptcy case–were granted a motion by the judge to subpoena the Diocese for information about the Church’s sale of the Fidelis Care Insurance company in 2018. Billions of dollars from that sale were put into the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.
“There are a lot of people who are asking the same question we’ve asked before,” Mary said, “and that is, can we still figure out why the money from Fidelis went to the Cabrini Foundation and we haven’t been able to apply for it?”
Hartshorne sees the ruling on the discovery motion as a sign of substantial progress in the case, which was temporarily held up when the Diocese filed for bankruptcy, and again when former Bishop Howard Hubbard passed away.