WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- The Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center will remain where it is, in West Seneca, according to a state goverment source.
This would end a five-year-long saga, with a group of advocates, staff, former patients, parents and Buffalo-area lawmakers on one side, and a state Office of Mental Health plan on the other.
The state plan was to merge the suburban campus with the renovated Buffalo Psychiatric Center, where adults are currently treated. Opponents have long maintained that is detrimental to patients.
Work had already begun on the Buffalo facility, but the state will now explore other uses for that project.
Lawmakers last year unanimously passed a bill against the merger, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo, vetoed that bill at the time.
Hours earlier, lawyers working to keep the center where it is called on the state comptroller to investigate the motives behind the governor and State Office of Mental Health trying to consolidate the youth facility with the adult one. Attorneys alleged that the governor violated the Mental Hygiene Law and was motivated by the economic potential for renovating the land in West Seneca for commercial use.
"Upon the convictions of key members of the Cuomo administration, the Percoco conviction, the Aiello conviction, who is a contractor, the testimony of Todd Howe, we have for the first time what may be a motive," said Steven Cohen, HoganWillig litigation chair.
An official announcement is coming in the coming days or weeks.