LOS ANGELES— Lindsay Lohan’s attorney said Thursday the actress checked into a California rehab facility, but a state official said it is unlicensed to perform the type of restrictive in-patient treatment a judge required the actress to receive in a misdemeanor driving case.
Mark Jay Heller told a judge that Lohan was settling in at Morningside Recovery and argued that the actress should be allowed to stay until a judge approves her placement.
“My client is ensconced in the bosom of that facility right now,” Heller argued after a prosecutor objected to Lohan’s choice of facilities. “She’s in rehab right now. Nothing bad is going to happen.”
Celebrity website TMZ reported Lohan was shopping at an electronics store while her attorney was in court and that she never entered Morningside.
Hours after the hearing, 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 requires her to serve 90 days in a lockdown rehab facility. The actress crashed her car in June while on the way to a film shoot and pleaded no contest in March to reckless driving and lying to police.
Morningside Recovery disputed that it was unlicensed.
“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. ”
Tidwell said her agency was considering enforcement action against Morningside based on Heller’s statements, but she declined to elaborate.
Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney agreed in the hearing that Lohan should remain at Morningside, although the actress’ whereabouts were unknown.
White did not return a phone message seeking comment seeking information on whether Lohan had checked in. Tidwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lohan also was found in violation of her probation in a 2011 necklace theft and sentenced to 180 days behind bars, but her jail term can be avoided if she complies with the full terms of her sentence, which include community labor and 18 months of psychological therapy.