Actress Lindsay Lohan violated her probation Thursday by leaving a Newport Beach rehab facility where she was to begin 90 days of treatment in a reckless driving case, prosecutors said.
Mark Heller, Lohan's attorney, told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Dabney on Thursday morning that his client had already begun her therapy at the Morningside Recovery facility. Lohan arrived at the facility about 11 a.m.
Santa Monica City Prosecutor Terry White said he learned that Lohan spent just a few minutes at the Orange County rehab before leaving. “Ms. Lohan is in violation of her probation, that much is clear,” he said.
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White said he did not know Lohan's whereabouts. Lohan had until Thursday to check into a rehabilitation facility or face being sent to jail.
Lohan’s lawyers could not be reached for comment.
During Thursday morning's hearing, prosecutor White objected to the last-minute change in rehab facilities, saying that he was not allowed to check out Morningside to see if it complied with the terms of the sentencing. Lohan was originally scheduled to check into a New York state recovery center.
"This is highly improper," White protested to Dabney, noting that he learned from the media that Lohan had chosen a different rehab facility.
But Heller said the facility fully complied with Dabney's sentencing requirement that the actress serve her 90 days in a place she could not leave.
During the hearing, Dabney cautioned that the rehab program must "fall within the parameters of the plea agreement."
"If we decide the program doesn’t measure up to the plea agreement, she will have to move to a different program," Dabney said. The judge gave White a week to examine the facility and raise any objections.
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The "Mean Girls" star avoided jail in a last-minute deal by pleading no contest to misdemeanor reckless driving and providing false information to police. A charge of willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer was dismissed. In addition to spending 90 days in rehab, she must also spend 18 months in psychotherapy and serve 30 days of community service.
In pleading no contest, Lohan admitted she had violated her probation in a 2011 shoplifting case.
On Thursday, state officials said the Newport Beach facility could not provide the residential treatment required by the judge in order for Lohan to avoid jail and that if it did so it would be violating the law.
Millicent Tidwell, deputy director of the licensing division of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, said licenses for three Costa Mesa facilities run by Morningside Recovery LLC were revoked In 2012.
She said the Newport Beach facilities are “unlicensed” and can only operate as sober-living facilities.
"They do not have a license to operate a 24-hour-a-day residential treatment facility; what they do have is a certification to provide outpatient services at a clinic," Tidwell said. "In Ms. Lohan's case, she was ordered to go to a residential treatment facility."
In a statement, Mary Helen Beatificato, chief executive officer of Morningside, said it was "completely false" to report Morningside has "no license/certification to provide drug and alcohol treatment."
She said the treatment is conducted by licensed clinicians at a 6,300-square-foot state-certified clinic and not at the sober-living homes in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.
"No treatment is conducted in these homes," said Beatificato, noting that the license that was suspended and then revoked was for residential detoxification services.
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