MASSENA - An obstetrician/gynecologist who has been practicing out of his 50 Old River Road home for the past two years despite having his plans rejected by the towns zoning board on multiple occasions is continuing to see patients out of his home, neighbors told the Massena Town Board Wednesday night.
Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the town is currently investigating the matter to see what they can do to shut the illegally operated medical practice down, noting Dr. Miljan Stankovic took the town to court in an effort to earn approval for his business and lost.
That ruling was issued earlier this year by State Supreme Court Justice David Demarest.
Mr. Gray said in his opinion, Dr. Stankovic is in contempt of court by continuing to operate the business, despite receiving a court order demanding he stop.
I think hes going to rue the day he crossed Judge Demarest, Mr. Gray said.
Two of the doctors neighbors attended Wednesday nights meeting to voice concerns over the practice continuing to operate.
Is there any update on the doctor operating out of his house? asked Mark Tyo. Its been over two years.
Mr. Gray said given that the case is a current legal matter, there isnt a lot he can say publicly about it.
He did say, however, the town is doing its part to ensure Dr. Stankovic follows the court order.
Its not as simple as, Lets pick up the phone and call the judge, he said. We have to follow the rules to force him to follow the rules.
Should Dr. Stankovic continue to defy the order, Mr. Gray said its his understanding the doctor could ultimately end up in jail.
We have to follow the process in order to get him held in contempt of court and thrown in jail if need be, he said.
Dr. Stankovics next door neighbor also spoke to the board, not only about the practice, but also about a fence on Dr. Stankovics property that he claims is falling down onto his land.
That fence he has has been out of code since he put it in, Francis Gero said. Ive got the whole thing coming down in my yard.
Mr. Gray said the fence is an unrelated issue, and hell have newly hired Code Enforcement Officer Dale Beaulieu look into it as soon as he starts work, hopefully later this week.
Mr. Beaulieu is a former code enforcement officer for both the town and village, who will be working on an interim basis until the town can find a permanent replacement. He will be paid $35 per hour plus mileage.
While Mr. Gero said the doctors property was quiet earlier in the week that was not the case Wednesday.
There were cars going in and out of there all day today, he said. Wednesday and Thursday are apparently his office hours.
Mr. Gero also said he believes previous code enforcement officers have been afraid of Dr. Stankovic, noting two different code enforcement officers have dealt with this matter to no avail.
I would like to get this resolved, he said. Im getting sick and tired of it.
Mr. Gray said the town is doing what it can, but again reiterated legal issues take time.
Im going to ask you to be patient, he said to both men. I know thats not what you wanted to hear.