Lawmakers rap Brooklyn nursing home operator tied to de Blasio land scandal

Four lawmakers are accusing a Brooklyn nursing home operator tied to a real estate scandal that rocked the de Blasio administration of stonewalling constituents who have family members residing in the facility during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ire is being directed at the King David nursing home in Gravesend, which is run by the controversial Allure Group.

“We are writing to you with great concern over the reports of poor care at your facility and the total lack of a response from anyone in your facility,” said the letter to King David Administrator David Schoenblum, which was signed by Rep. Max Rose, state Sen. Diane Savino and City Council members Mark Treyger and James Brannan.

“Our office has been inundated with calls from distraught constituents who have loved ones at your facility. We have heard reports that your facility has left deceased residents in their bed, transferred patients to hospitals without notifying their families, and failed to report the number of COVID-positive cases at the King David Center to the health authorities,” the pols said in the letter obtained by The Post.

King David has reported two deaths of residents attributed to COVID-19 and two more presumed deaths, according to the most recent tally reported by the state Health Department.

“Despite numerous attempts to speak with you or someone from your staff, there have been no answers. This is dangerous and a complete abdication of your responsibility to the clients in your care. We will be speaking with the relevant regulatory authorities to ensure our constituents are being properly cared for and we expect an immediate reply to discuss our concerns,” the legislators said.

King David nursing center coronavirus
Medics transport a patient to the King David nursing home.AP

In 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio came under withering criticism after city officials approved a deal that had Allure pay the city $16.1 million in exchange for lifting deed restrictions that required properties on the Lower East Side to be used to aid the needy.

After the deed restrictions were lifted, the real estate group then sold Rivington, a former nursing home for AIDS patients, for a $72 million profit in February 2016.

The shady transaction triggered a probe by the state attorney general that led to a 2018 settlement that required Allure Group to pay $2 million in penalties and to open new health care facilities and provide $1.25 million to non-profit groups serving vulnerable New Yorkers.

A former employee claimed Allure “deliberately understaffs every facility” and called the company “a stain on the industry.”

But the Allure Group defended the performance of its King David nursing home during the pandemic, noting the state ban on family visitations.

“The moratorium on nursing home visitations has caused tremendous hardships for our residents and families. That is why we are doing everything in our power to keep families informed and in touch with their loved ones, including equipping every resident with a tablet computer for virtual visits. Resident safety and wellbeing remains our highest priority,” said Allure Group’s general counsel, Richard Brum.

“We are following all federal, state and city regulations as they evolve with respect to treating and reporting COVID-19 cases which includes a daily report to the NYS Dept. of Health. We will continue to follow the reporting requirements to the letter of the law. We have great respect for our elected representatives and will gladly partner with them in any way that can help us through this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Brum added, “We stand in solidarity with our residents, patients, their families and our heroic staff in continuing to fight the spread of this disease and, like them, we look forward to the day when we are able to reunite families when it is safe to do so.”

More than 5,000 nursing home residents have died from confirmed or presumed cases of coronavirus, according to the most recent tally compiled by the state Health Department.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has come under fire for a controversial March 25 state Health Department order that required nursing homes to admit or readmit recovering COVID patients from hospitals. Critics claim the policy unnecessarily unleashed more deaths on a vulnerable population, triggering calls for an independent federal probe by former Gov. George Pataki and Village of Hempstead officials.

But Cuomo claimed again Thursday that nursing home operators had an option to transfer COVID patients elsewhere if they could not safely isolate them in their facilities.

“We have facilities all across the state that can take any COVID-positive person from a nursing home. So any nursing home operator who cannot provide adequate care for anyone in the nursing home, you call the department of health, we have beds and care for that person and no nursing home should keep a person in that nursing home who they cannot provide adequate care for. Period,” the governor said.

He recently called on state Attorney General Letitia James and state health officials to probe whether nursing home operators complied with safety regulations during the pandemic.


Writer, Blogger , Publisher and owner of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.