The North Coast Journal showed some alt-weekly moxie this week when it released its “Top 10 Dick Moves” of 2016.
To the surprise of no one who’s been following the news in Humboldt, the winner was Shlomo Rechnitz, the billionaire nursing home magnate, who owns all five nursing homes in the county.
Rechnitz’s firm, Brius Healthcare, threatened to close three of those homes, forcing patients to be transferred out of the region and away from their families.
Rechnitz claimed he was losing money, albeit not as much as he appears to have lost in a ponzi scheme.
Still, the Journal did some digging that showed Rechnitz appearing to overcharge his nursing homes for supplies and rent. Of course, he owned the supply company and the buildings.
Ultimately, Rechnitz said he would only close one nursing home, and politicians pondered how to keep monopoly operators like Rechnitz from exploiting patients. Here’s what State Sen. Mike McGuire told the Journal earlier this month.
“Our early thoughts are that there should be a separate standard and additional oversight if there is a monopoly in one market. What we discovered is that the way the law is written now, all the power is in the hands of the operator.”
And here’s what the Journal had to say about that operator:
1. Shlomo Rechnitz
We have a winner. The game of chicken this out-of-area billionaire played with skilled nursing facilities — threatening closure in a bid for more state cash — was a greed-driven dick move that jeopardized some of the most vulnerable members of our community: the elderly he is charged with caring for. F**k that guy.