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UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2012, OPRA Request Filed with Hoboken University Medical Center’s Former Manager, Hudson Healthcare, Inc.
UPDATE March 19, 2012: OPRA Request Filed with Hoboken University Medical Center’s Former Manager, Hudson Healthcare, Inc.
March 19, 2012 – Ed Mecka - EdMecka.com
Hoboken: Attorney Richard Gutman replied to HUDSON HEALTHCARE, INC.’s denial of my February 24, 2012 OPRA request. It is our legal position that the CITY OF HOBOKEN created the private non-profit HUDSON HEALTHCARE, INC. to manage HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER for the HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY. Supreme Court of New Jersey, The TIMES OF TRENTON PUBLISHING CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. LAFAYETTE YARD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellant.
We are confident that, if necessary, the Courts will rule that the non-profit HUDSON HEALTHCARE, INC. is subject to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.
55 Warfield Street
Montclair, NJ 07043-1116
973-744-6038 (voice & fax)
March 19, 2012
Joseph Maddoloni, Jr.
Trenk, DiPasqualie, Webster, Della Fera & Sonono, P.C.
Dear Mr. Maddoloni:
I represent Edward Mecka regarding his February 24, 2012, Open Public Records Act request to Hudson Healthcare, Inc.
In your February 27, 2012 denial of access letter, you stated that HHI is not an OPRA “public agency” because “HHI is not . . . an instrumentality . . . created by a political subdivision of the state or any authority, commission or agency thereof.” But the City of Hoboken created HHI to manage Hoboken Municipal University Medical Center for the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority. Times v. Lafayette Yard Community Development Corporation, 183 N.J. 519, 534-6 (2005).
Please inform me as soon as possible as to whether HHI grants Mr. Mecka access to the requested records.
Very truely yours,
On February 27, 2012 HUDSON HEALTHCARE, INC.’s attorney Joseph Maddaloni, Jr. of Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C. responded to my OPRA request with the following denial;
From: Joseph Maddaloni, Jr.
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 12:05 PM
To: 'Ed Mecka '
Cc: Joseph J. DiPasquale
Subject: OPRA Request - February 24, 2012
Mr. Mecka: Our firm is counsel to Hudson Healthcare, Inc. (“HHI”). Your latest Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) request dated February 24, 2012, seeking certain information regarding the operation of HHI has been referred to me for review and response. Consistent with our earlier response to your January 6, 2012 OPRA request, please note that HHI is a private, not for profit Corporation. HHI is not a political subdivision of the state, nor is it an instrumentality within or created by a political subdivision of the state or any authority, commission or agency thereof. HHI is not a “public agency” that possesses “government records” within the scope and reach of OPRA. Consequently, your request for “government records” from HHI is invalid. Best regards,
Joseph Maddaloni, Jr.
Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C. www.trenklawfirm.com
347 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Suite 300 | West Orange, NJ | 07052
Direct 973.323.8655 | Firm 973.243.8600 | Fax 973.243.8677 | firstname.lastname@example.org
OPRA Request Filed with Hoboken University Medical Center’s Former Manager, Hudson Healthcare, Inc.
February 24, 2012 – EdMecka.com
Today, Hoboken resident / community activist Ed Mecka (edmecka.com) filed a New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for “public” records in the possession of HUDSON HEALTHCARE, Inc. the former manager of Hoboken University Medical Center.
Prior to its November, 2011 sale to “for-profit” hospital operator HOLDCO, LLC, Hoboken University Medical Center (“HUMC”) was owned by the City of Hoboken, governed by the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (“AUTHORITY ”), and managed by Hudson Healthcare, inc. ( “HHI” ).
From 2006 to present, Hoboken residents from all political factions have complained about the lack of TRANSPARENCY into the City’s operation of the hospital.
On August 1, 2011 HHI filed for Chapter 11 protection in Federal Bankruptcy Court District of New Jersey. On August 28, 2011 a local newspaper, the Hoboken Reporter, headlined a story “Sources: Hosp. Authority pushed for bankruptcy1” which raised many more questions with respect to the relationship between the city’s AUTHORITY and the hospitals manager, the private non-profit HHI.
“Knowledgeable sources said that representatives from HHI, the non-profit entity that operates the hospital, did not wish to declare bankruptcy, but received pressure from the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (AUTHORITY), a municipal board, to do so.”
Here is the OPRA request;
February 24, 2012
Custodian of Records
Hudson Healthcare, Inc.
308 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030 (Via fax only to (201) 418-2206 201-418-1011)
Joseph J. DiPasquale, Esq.
Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C.
347 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Suite 300
West Orange, NJ 07052 (Via fax to (973) 243-8677 and email email@example.com)
Please accept this letter as a request for government records in accordance with the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the common law right of access.
Please respond and send all responsive documents via e-mail. Also, I would appreciate it if you would acknowledge your receipt of this letter. If you have any questions, please call Edward Mecka at ***-***-****.
1) A copy of the HHI Board of Directors resolution appointing the new HHI legal counsel when Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC resigned on July 15, 2011.
2) The agenda for the July 15, 2011 Hudson Healthcare, Inc. Board of Directors meeting.
3) The attendance list for the July 15, 2011 Hudson Healthcare, Inc. Board of Directors meeting and if no such attendance list exist, a copy of the minutes of the meeting.
Under New Jersey’s OPRA law, HHI or its Attorneys must respond by March 6, 2012.
REFERENCES: 1 - “Sources: Hosp. Authority pushed for bankruptcy” http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/15234932/article-Sources--Hosp--Authority-pushed-for-bankruptcy-Creditors-strike-back--internal-feud-at-hospital---?instance=secondary_stories_left_column
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