By LOUIS FLORES
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) has appointed former Continuum Health Partners CEO Stanley Brezenoff to a second post in his administration.
Mr. Brezenoff was named chair of the city's Board of Correction, a city agency that is tasked with overseeing the delivery of healthcare, including mental healthcare, to inmates of the municipal jail system.
With this appointment, Mr. Brezenoff will now oversee compliance to the mayor's presumed response to the investigation by the Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for New York's southern district into the unconstitutional and deadly conditions at the city's jails, including at Rikers Island.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is headed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and the investigation has been being led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Daughtry and Jeffrey Powell.
This is Mr. Brezenoff's second appointment in the de Blasio administration. On the eve of his swearing in, then Mayor-elect de Blasio appointed Mr. Brezenoff to serve as an uppaid advisor to City Hall, as City Hall initiated negotiations on long-outstanding labor contracts with municipal employee unions.
Mr. Brezenoff is no stranger to controversy. He was identified in several columns written by The New York Daily News columnist Denis Hamill for playing a role in driving Long Island College Hospital into the ground. As a consequence of what was perceived as Mr. Brezenoff's gross mismanagement, former employees at Long Island College Hospital would refer to the CEO as "Darth Vader."
After Mr. Brezenoff reportedly mismanaged Long Island College Hospital for years, he had a role in merging Long Island College Hospital into SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn in a deal that was later revealed to be motivated by seizing and exploiting the real estate assets of the hospital. Long Island College Hospital closed in 2014 on Mayor de Blasio's watch after he had exploited the hospital as a campaign ploy to win votes from healthcare activists, hospital union members, and city voters impacted by a string of hospital closings.
Mr. Brezenoff's entitled and irresponsible approach to government earned him the scorn of legendary New York muckrakers, including Jack Newfield, who referred to career insiders like Mr. Brezenoff as representing the city's unaccountable "Permanent Government."