Questions emerge about Montco selling Parkhouse home

Posted: January 26, 2014

NORRISTOWN As Montgomery County moves forward with the sale of its Parkhouse nursing home, new questions are swirling around a subpoena sent this week from the controller's office to a Parkhouse employee.

At the commissioners meeting Friday, Controller Stewart J. Greenleaf Jr. acknowledged that he had issued an "administrative subpoena" to a Parkhouse employee.

He would not discuss the nature of his investigation but told the commissioners, "At this point I don't see any reason that the issue raised by the subpoena would affect the sale. At this point."

The county is conducting final inspections on the Royersford facility and hopes to complete the $39 million sale to Mid-Atlantic Health Care in the coming weeks.

Greenleaf, a Republican row officer in charge of county payroll and accounts, reviews all county contracts and audits county departments.

Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro said Friday afternoon that he did not know the reason for the subpoena.

At the meeting, Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. pressed Greenleaf on whether the commissioners should proceed with the sale.

"I don't think it's my place to counsel you on that," Greenleaf said.

"But given that the county is engaging in a transaction that is tens of millions of dollars at play, as a public official of Montgomery County, would you . . . let us know if we're about to make a $40 million mistake?" Castor asked.

"Of course," Greenleaf answered.

Greenleaf would not identify the employee but said it was not Parkhouse administrator Melanie McGarry, who has supported the sale.

Greenleaf also would not say why he chose a subpoena rather than merely asking the employee to comply with his investigation.

The commissioners began studying a sale last February and voted unanimously in October to accept Mid-Atlantic's bid, arguing that the facility would be better run in private hands.

A group of residents has been protesting the deal, arguing that the county should only sell the facility and not the surrounding 200 acres of undeveloped land.


jparks@philly.com

610-313-8117 @JS_Parks

www.inquirer.com/MontcoMemo

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