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County's sale of nursing home prompts suit

County's sale of nursing home prompts suit

Former county supervisor says deal violated state rules on public auctions

  • Updated

Former Supervisor Ed Moore is suing Pima County and the Board of Supervisors over the sale of the county nursing home to a private company.

Pima County finalized a deal last month to sell the Posada del Sol Health Care Center for $7.8 million to Foothills Real Estate. The appraised value was $6.3 million.

The problem raised in the suit boils down to the way the name of the new owner is used in public records.

The new owner, Avi Rothner, bid on the property as the manager of "an entity related to Hunter Properties Investment," referred to in some documents as "New Operator."

Rothner later finalized creating that entity and named it Foothills Real Estate.

However, all of the county documents say the nursing home was sold to Hunter Properties Investment.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Moore claims the county violated state rules about how public property must be sold at public auction to the highest qualified bidder. He says neither Hunter nor Foothills was a bidder and neither Hunter nor Foothills was awarded the contract, and he wants the court to declare the sales contract void.

Moore also wants the court to examine what he says are "serious procurement irregularities" related to requirements for earnest money.

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall told Moore in a letter that there were no irregularities in the bid process.

Rothner plans to rename the nursing home Foothills Rehabilitation Center and begin operating Jan. 1. He has yet to apply for a state license to operate the nursing home.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4346.


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