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Lohan’s choice of rehab stirs up dispute with prosecutor

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.

Heller argued Thursday morning that despite a prosecutor’s misgivings, the actress should be allowed to stay in treatment until a judge approves her placement.

Heller presented Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney a letter from Morningside showing that it complied with a court order to keep Lohan on lockdown for 90 days.

Dabney agreed that Lohan should remain at Morningside, although the actress’ whereabouts were unknown. Celebrity website TMZ reported Lohan was shopping at an electronics store while her attorney was in court, and that she never entered Morningside.

Dabney said Lohan should remain at the center until Santa Monica Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White has time to conduct his investigation. White said he was “completely blindsided” by Lohan’s placement at Morningside because Heller had previously agreed to send the actress to a different facility that had been vetted.

– Associated Press

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