ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Two pensioners from the former St. Clare’s Hospital met with New York Attorney General Letitia James and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara Tuesday afternoon. Assemblyman Santabarbara says the meeting was to give an update on the progress being made in the St. Clare’s case being investigated by the AG’s office.
Years after the hospital shut its doors to its final patients in 2008, the 1,100 pensioners of St. Clare’s want assurance the state will keep its commitment to getting them answers says Jerry Adach. Adach and his wife, who both were affected by the predicament, met with the attorney general and says, “I think it went really well. I found the attorney general sympathetic and she seems determined to find out what went wrong with the pension.”
The buck does not stop there. Adach says he and some pensioners would like to meet personally with Governor Hochul. “I’d just like to hear a commitment from her as well, just like the Attorney General of um just trying to find out what happened. What went wrong?”
Santabarbara, who has advocated for the pensioners, says a big topic of Tuesday’s meeting was why no insurance was purchased for the pension fund. “There is an exemption under federal law that does not require you to have insurance (for the pension fund). That could be a legislative issue that we have to look into. Had that not been in there, maybe we wouldn’t be talking about this right now?”
The Catholic Diocese of Albany has been trying to throw the $54 million pension case out for several years after the fund collapsed in 2018. Santabarbara says while the AG is looking for justice, his office is looking at potential legislation to prevent something like this happening again. “How do we stop this from happening again? There’s a legislative piece that we need to look at this legislative session: are these exemptions appropriate?”
Santabarbara says the governor’s office is interested in meeting with the St. Clare’s pensioners, but no official date has been set.