Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Lohan Spat Puts the Spotlight on Betty Ford; the Facility and Its Former Employee Will Also Receive Some Scrutiny

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Lohan Spat Puts the Spotlight on Betty Ford; the Facility and Its Former Employee Will Also Receive Some Scrutiny

Article excerpt

LINDSAY Lohan isn't the only one authorities are investigating over a late night spat with a rehabilitation worker. Experts say the facility where she is being treated and its former employee will also receive some scrutiny.

A spokesman for the California Department of Public Health confirmed the agency was conducting an investigation at Betty Ford, but declined to release details. Spokesman Ralph Montano said on Wednesday that details may be released later, but he could not confirm that the inquiry was related to Lohan or an interview by the fired employee.

Detectives are investigating Lohan for misdemeanor battery at the request of a Betty Ford Clinic worker who was involved in a fight with the Mean Girls star on December 12.

Lohan's lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley has declined comment on the incident, but said it was the actress who called police.

The worker later conducted an on-camera interview with celebrity website TMZ, which also posted an email that the worker apparently sent to supervisors after the fight. The woman, identified by TMZ as Dawn Holland, was promptly fired by Betty Ford.

Criminal defence lawyer Steve Cron, who is not involved in the case, said both Betty Ford and Holland are likely to face some repercussions. Betty Ford, which described the Lohan incident as the first time in 28 years that it had a breach of patient confidentiality, could face a civil fine, he said.

"I don't see any criminal prosecution, but I do see some investigation to see whether this is a systemic problem or just an isolated incident with one wayward employee," Cron said.

A Betty Ford spokesman declined comment on whether the renowned rehabilitation centre reported the incident to state or federal authorities.

There is both a historical expectation and legal requirements for confidentiality in rehabilitation settings, said Dr Westley Clark of the Maryland-based Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"We want people to be able to get care, to be as candid as possible," Clark said, adding that he couldn't specifically speak about the Lohan incident. …

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