Dispute arises over rehab facility chosen by Lohan

2013-05-03T00:00:00Z Dispute arises over rehab facility chosen by LohanThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LOS ANGELES - Lindsay Lohan's attorney said Thursday the actress checked into a California rehab facility.

However, a state official indicated later in the day that the facility is not licensed to perform the type of restrictive in-patient treatment a judge sentenced her to undergo.

Attorney Mark Jay Heller told a judge during a morning hearing that Lohan was settling in at Morningside Recovery, a treatment facility in Newport Beach.

But hours later, Millicent Tidwell, acting deputy director of licensing and certification for the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, said Morningside did not have the appropriate licenses to provide residential treatment or recovery programs.

The facility is certified to provide outpatient services and operates sober living houses, which do not require licenses, Tidwell said.

Lohan's sentence in a misdemeanor driving case requires her to serve 90 days in a lockdown rehab facility. Her choice of Morningside rankled a prosecutor who said he would conduct his own investigation of the facility to make sure it complied with the terms of Lohan's sentence.

Morningside Recovery disputed that it was unlicensed and its director wrote in a statement that it has a 6,300-square-foot facility that provides drug and alcohol treatment.

"We have successfully treated thousands of patients through our program, many of which have been ordered to us by state and federal courts," Morningside's CEO Mary Helen Beatificato wrote in a statement. "Our clinical team is highly specialized in the treatment of substance abuse and more importantly, the psychiatric illnesses which often accompany individuals suffering" from chemical dependency issues.

In a letter to Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney on Thursday, Beatificato stated that Morningside was not a hospital-style rehab.

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