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Another Monsour mess

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Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

The Monsour family's abandonment of its crumbling Jeannette hospital building would be reprehensible enough as an isolated instance. But it's even more egregious because the family's equally reprehensible abandonment of a Florida luxury hotel makes the mess along Route 30 part of a pattern of mismanagement, irresponsibility and disregard for community concerns.

The Monsour Medical Center building stands — but for how long? — as a monument to its namesake brothers' failure to even fail properly. Jeannette has condemned the building, shuttered in 2006, but doesn't have the $250,000 to $1 million needed to tear it down.

Attracting vagrants and arsonists, it endangers public safety. And medical records scattered throughout are the subject of a federal probe into possible privacy-law violations.

Sarasota, Fla., no longer has the decrepit hulk of the Monsour family's Three Crowns Hotel to deal with. But the two structures' sagas otherwise are similar.

Sarasota officials say the beachfront hotel, part of a post-World War II building boom, fell into disrepair and foreclosure amid legal troubles, was sold to two other owners and stood empty for seven years before its 1995 demolition. And the Monsour family was just as irresponsible and unhelpful there as in Jeannette.

That only strengthens the case for forcing accountability for the Jeannette mess on those responsible, who must pay the full cost of cleaning it up.

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