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Fired NUMC president gets $215,000 separation package

Nassau Health Care Corp., the public benefit corporation

Nassau Health Care Corp., the public benefit corporation also known as NuHealth, Chairman George Tsunis, far right, with board members, at Thursday's board meeting. Credit: Danielle Silverman

The health system that runs Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow approved a nearly $215,000 separation agreement with Dr. Victor Politi, its former president and chief executive whom it fired two weeks ago for cause.

The agreement was approved Thursday night during a 7-1 vote in executive session of Nassau Health Care Corp.’s Legal and Audit Committee, corporation board chairman George Tsunis said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Politi is to be paid $214,893 in separation pay, which covers seven months of his $368,387 annual salary. Politi also waived his right to additional compensation from the health care corporation, also known as NuHealth, according to the pact. The agreement includes a “covenant not to sue” and a “mutual nondisparagement” clause. The agreement also contains a resignation letter from Politi, effective June 15 of this year.

Board member Warren Zysman, who voted against the agreement, told Newsday after the vote: “I object to all the terms of the agreement.”

The board terminated Politi’s employment for cause at an April 18 meeting, and officials said it would pay him for 60 additional days. He was ordered to give up any keys, identification cards, vehicles and logs owned by NuHealth. The pact approved Thursday states that as of the date of the agreement, “ending your employment will be deemed rescinded and you will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned your employment” effective June 15.

Board chairman George Tsunis said on Thursday that the separation pay kicks in after the 60-day period. Hospital officials have not disclosed the reasons for Politi’s dismissal. The board appointed Dr. Paul A. Pipia, the hospital’s chief medical officer, as interim president and chief executive.

Politi had been making $368,387 in annual salary, and his contract was set to expire at the end of 2019. The board last August had given him a $50,000 raise and extended his contract, which was set to expire by the end of January 2018.

After the April meeting, Politi’s attorney Ronald J. Rosenberg likened the proceedings to a “star chamber,” and vowed to review Politi’s legal options. He said at the time, “What happened here tonight was a gross violation of due process.”

Rosenberg said in an email Thursday night: “It is all too sad but true that Public hospitals can become incubators for the mean spirited cruel political actions that we witness all too often and that have nothing to do with professional competence or demonstrated accomplishments. Such was the case here and while the Board has finally closed this matter to our satisfaction their actions brought no honor to them or the institution.”

Politi, who became president and CEO in 2014, had served under former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, as his police commissioner and a deputy county executive.

Tsunis began as chairman on Feb. 1 under an appointment by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat who cited Politi’s contract extension during her campaign last year, when she has called the hospital “another symbol of the culture of corruption.”