AG Rejects Santa Clara County’s Plea to Keep Hospitals Open

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra rejected an appeal from Santa Clara County to keep two hospitals open, after they attempted to head off a Jan. 30 court showdown.

The county promised to commit to the highest levels of medical care at the two hospitals it seeks to buy from Verity Health System, according to County Executive Jeff Smith. Smith and several staff drove during a Jan. 16 rainstorm to Sacramento to hand-deliver the proposal and meet with Becerra, who earlier this month stunned the county by asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to block the sale of O’Connor and St. Louise hospitals.

If the AG is successful, or if he appeals a rejection of his request, the $235 million hospital purchase is dead, Smith lamented. Still, he holds out some hope.

“We are pretty confident that our legal case is strong, and that the stay will not be granted,” Smith said in an interview.

He is concerned, however, that Becerra might appeal a rejection of the stay.

Because of a death in the family, Becerra was unable to attend the Sacramento meeting, at which Smith had hoped to ease the AG’s stated concern that the county’s failure to commit to quality medical care was the primary reason the deal should be scrapped.

County supervisors last week instigated a social media, telephone and email campaign—including appeals to Gov. Gavin Newsom—in hopes of convincing Becerra he should put the healthcare needs of Santa Clara County first, and that his concerns about the county’s commitment to quality health care were unfounded. Smith told supervisors the morning before his trip that “time is running out.”

Smith said Becerra’s aides were in no mood to discuss the issue.

“Their response was, ‘We are not interested in a contract with the county; we are intent on enforcing our regulations,’” Smith said after the meeting. “It is largely an issue of control and power and has nothing to do with the hospitals.”

The AG, he charged, made “a political decision, not a legal decision.”

Becerra’s office continued this week to decline to comment.

A hearing of Becerra’s request to block the sale has been set for Jan. 30 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles. On the same day, a federal bankruptcy judge scheduled one last hearing of appeals by creditors and labor unions before deciding on the final details of Verity’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection plan, which will include sale of two hospitals—unless Becerra’s effort in a nearby courtroom is successful.

After returning from Sacramento, Smith said he remained incredulous at the attitude of the attorney general, whose staff rejected any effort to compromise or modify a set of conditions imposed on Verity in 2015 in connection with its purchase of six troubled hospitals in northern and southern California that Becerra said dictates conditions of the current purchase agreement.

Becerra contends in court documents that any sale of hospitals owned by Verity Health must adhere to all of the strict conditions set down in December 2015 by his predecessor, Kamala Harris, even if it means the hospitals will close.

Smith has called the attorney general’s insistence on the matter “absurd.”

The county exec said that he made it clear in his personal appeal to Becerra’s staff that blocking the sale to the county will mean that O’Connor and St. Louise hospitals will close, but that this information didn’t sway the state’s lawyers.

The attorney general has no legal role in overseeing the state’s hospitals, but got involved in 2015 because a private entity was purchasing hospitals from a non-profit. In this case, the sale would involve a purchase of private hospitals by a government entity, an actual arm of state government.

Smith and his legal team contend that the attorney general doesn’t understand California law, and that the issue amounts to a power play. The county executive said he no longer thinks that healthcare workers’ unions’ concerns about losses of pensions and contracts are the issue. “It’s all about control and power,” he said.

Blocking the county purchase will mean “the hospitals will close, and nobody is going to buy them,” Smith said earlier this month.

He said the county’s asset purchase agreement expires March 1, and that a deal must be closed by then. Mike Wasserman, the county supervisor whose district includes St. Louise Regional Hospital, wrote on Facebook, “I am deeply disappointed that the California Department of Justice is trying to block the sale of O’Connor and St. Louise hospitals to Santa Clara County. As county supervisor, I will do everything I can to keep the hospitals open so as to ensure continued healthcare access for all residents.”

He urged his constituents to contact Becerra and published his contact information.

“The attorney general’s actions to block the sale of Verity’s hospitals to the county is a real threat to the health of our community, our residents and the vulnerable populations the hospitals serve,” Smith had said in a Jan.10 statement.


  1. Where is State Senate candidate Dave Cortese in this, where is his pull? Ps, Cortese invests in health stocks.

    • Yes, and other supervisors invest on google. These are the people that get big favors from county supervisors. AG is not an idiot!

  2. Power and control, Kamala Harris, say no more, It’s I am woman with power, screw the public.
    What a lousy prosecutor and AG, 2 years as a senator and by-by I’m running for president and dictator.
    Was she sleeping with this guy too?

    Please Don’t Ever Vote For That Woman!!!!!!!

    • > Please Don’t Ever Vote For That Woman!!!!!!!

      I’m here to cheer you up, Mr. Gunn.

      Kamala Harris is never going to be president. You can take it to the bank.

      “Catholic Advocates Condemn Kamala Harris in Bid for Presidency: ‘Hostility Towards People of Faith’”

      With fifty Democrat candidates to choose from (fifty-one if you count Hillary), it’s an easy choice for Catholic voters to throw Kamala on the discard pile.

      • Haha, brite-bart. Please… give us references that we can trust. But anyway, how did this turn into a comment thread about Harris? You ladies tend to go off the rails regularly.

        • > Haha, brite-bart. Please… give us references that we can trust.

          Dear Mr. Resident:

          Normally, I would be perfectly content to allow you to wallow in your ignorance, but since it was SO EASY to lift a finger and experience a jolt of schadenfreud at your expense by exposing your cluelessness, here is a reference straight from the horse’s mouth:

          “Senate rebukes California Sen. Kamala Harris”
          . . .
          “Sasse’s resolution also referenced the anti-Catholic bigotry Democratic president John F. Kennedy faced during his presidency, and cited the Knights of Columbus’s “proud tradition of standing against the forces of prejudice and oppression such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Germany.”:

          . . .
          “Sasse urged his fellow senators to rebuke the anti-Catholic attacks against Buescher.”

          • And that article on cal-catholic states that the article was originally from “a Jan. 16 story by The Washington Free Beacon.” Wow, Bubble, you are reading third-hand stuff.

            But back to my question: How did the original post turn into a comment thread about Harris? You ladies tend to go off the rails regularly. I mean, All. The. Time.

        • Really my fault SCC, she is referenced in the above article paragraph 14 line 3. Apparently she has some unseen influence on esquire Becerra. I’m just hoping she won’t make it to the Senate again
          Mr. Bubble. I can’t stand condescending witches, bitches, or wenches.

        • > Haha, brite-bart.

          This should warm your little black authoritarian heart, Mr. Resident:

          “No need to install: Microsoft has controversial fake news filter NewsGuard built into mobile browser”

          Microsoft will provide automated scolding of mobile users who access websites that might be sources of what the Microsoft Corporation suspects to be “fake news”.

          Scolding will be applied to social renegades who access sites including:

          Drudge Report

          Fortunately, mobile users will not be impeded in their use of truthful and reliable websites such as:

          New York Times
          Vice News

          It won’t be long, Mr. Resident, before you will be completely insulated and protected from fake news. You may never have another triggering experience resulting from you internet usage for the rest of your life.

          • And now Bubbles is reading You know that Russia Today (RT) is “the well-known disinformation outlet for Russian propaganda.” And that the US Justice Dept required RT to register as a foreign agent.
            Watch where you get your news from, before you know it, you might find yourself colluding too.

            But again, the original post is about Santa Clara County trying to keep a couple hospitals open, and the state’s AG is throwing a wrench into the works. And you’re somehow bringing up Hillary and Benghazi and all sorts of other stuff. Exactly who do you work for…? You’re ‘just sayin'”, but you’re not saying much.

      • > To conclude, a president who brags about grabbing women by their pussi…what is this culture about?

        . . . .

        > Kamals for President!

        Well . .. ummmm . . . as far as we know the president only bragged about it.

        However, authoritative mainstream news sources such as those commended by Mr. SCC Resident suggest that Kamala may have grabbed Willie Brown by the pussy.

        > what is this culture about?

  3. Mr Holtzclaw, thank you for your reporting on this situation. I wasn’t aware that the State’s AG office had made this move. Please do keep us informed here.

  4. “The AG, he charged, made ‘a political decision, not a legal decision.’ ” Welcome to our world County Executive Smith. Becerra does this on criminal justice issues all the time. The law doesn’t matter to him, just his preferred outcome.

    • “The law doesn’t matter to him, just his preferred outcome.”
      That sums up the Liberal mindset perfectly.

  5. SCC Resident announces:

    > And that article on cal-catholic states that the article was originally from “a Jan. 16 story by The Washington Free Beacon.” Wow, Bubble, you are reading third-hand stuff.

    Ignore the messenger. Deny the message.

    > you are reading third-hand stuff.

    Just curious, Mr. Resident: Are you aware that hitting your thumb with a hammer might be painful? Did you discover this by actual first hand trial? Or, did you rely on second hand or third hand reports provided by others?

    Have you ever checked to see how much gas is in your gas tank using a match or a candle?

    Have you ever kicked over a wasps nest to see how the wasps react?

    Have you ever petted a rabid dog to see if it bites?

    Third hand information, Mr. Resident. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to rely on what other people say.

  6. More from SCC Resident:

    > How did the original post turn into a comment thread about Harris? You ladies tend to go off the rails regularly. I mean, All. The. Time.

    It’s a common conceit among progressives — and on the Left generally — that somehow, THEY get to control the conversation.

    “We want to talk about THIS, but we won’t allow anyone to talk about THAT”.

    We live with this everyday as the Leftist controlled corporate urban media cartel REFUSES to talk about the manifest corruption of Hillary Clinton, her server, her emails, her control of the DNC, her screwing of the Bernie campaign, her funding of Perkins-Coie, Fusion GPS, and the Steele Dossier, her collusion with the DOJ and FBI deep state, and on and on. Yet the corporate urben media cartel has been talking NON-STOP about “Trump-Russia collusion” and the Mueller investigation as if it were a REAL thing.

    Progressives have been led to believe for two years that Trump is going to be removed from office AT ANY MINUTE and replaced by President Hillary Clinton.

    It is really an EXTRAORDINARY, UNPRECEDENTED mass delusion — and occurring in a country where there is SUPPOSEDLY a “free press”.

    If you COMBINE the body of information believed by progressives with the body of information believed by regular people, you probably have a fairly good idea of reality.

    But relying on the reality map in Mr. Resident’s head, and talking only about the things he wants to talk about is like forcing your brain to be as small and slow and deluded as his.

    Is there any evidence that Mr. Resident has ever been at the top of his class in anything? Has Mr. Resident ever claimed to be at the top of his class in anything? Just sayin’.

  7. > Watch where you get your news from, before you know it, you might find yourself colluding too.

    Mr. SCC Bubble:

    You could probably help humanity immensely — at least progressive humanity — if you would publish for all of us an official list of progressive news sources.

    Is BuzzFeed OK? Not OK? CNN? MSNBC? DailyKos? Fusion GPS?

    One of the reasons non-progressives keep getting things wrong is we just don’t know where we’re supposed to go to get the party line.

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