A judge has ruled construction can continue at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center to pave the way for the WNY Children's Psychiatric Center in West Seneca to be moved there.
Appellate Court Judge Patrick H. NeMoyer on Thursday stayed a temporary restraining order issued earlier in the week by a lower court that barred Gov. Andrew Cuomo from vetoing a bill that would keep Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center operating in West Seneca.
NeMoyer's ruling means the Cuomo administration can resume construction at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center on Forest Avenue, where it wants to move the adolescent patients.
On Tuesday, state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto had also ordered that work halted.
The appellate ruling was the latest development in the legal battle between the Cuomo administration and the Coalition to Save the Children's Psychiatric Center over the proposed closure of the children's center and merger with Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
Cuomo and the state’s Office of Mental Health maintain that shutting down the suburban facility located on the grounds of the West Seneca Development Center would save the state money. Moving operations to 400 Forest would also centrally locate the children's psychiatric center and its services.
The Coalition to Save the Children's Psychiatric Center "is disappointed the order was stayed because despite the continuing construction the merger is not going to happen," said attorney Steven M. Cohen of the law firm of HoganWilllig, which represents the coalition.
"The coalition is not out to save the state money," Cohen said. "The coalition is about the best interest of the children."
Both houses of the Legislature in June passed the bill to keep the children's unit in West Seneca. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Patrick Gallivan and Assemblyman Mickey Kearns.
"If the governor vetoes the unanimous Senate and Assembly bills, we have more than enough votes to override the veto," Cohen said.
NeMoyer ordered both parties to appear back in his court at 2 p.m. July 26 at Larkin Center of Commerce, 701 Seneca St., Suite 350.