Lindsay Lohan appears to have violated probation in Betty Ford clinic incident, officials say
Detectives in Palm Desert said they believe Lindsay Lohan violated her probation during an alleged physical altercation with a technician at the Betty Ford Center on Dec. 12 over whether she should take an alcohol test.
Police have asked Riverside County prosecutors to consider charging her with battery even though the victim, a worker at the Betty Ford clinic, has asked that the case be dropped.
“Regardless of whether the victim is cooperating, we believe there is a case here to press charges… and the investigation determined Ms. Lohan violated several aspects of her probation,” said Riverside County Sgt David Florez. “Obviously, the battery is one violation. We aren’t going to discuss the other violations at this point.”
He said sheriff’s investigators, who serve as Palm Desert police, will send a copy of their investigation to the Los Angeles County Probation Department, which is supervising Lohan’s probation for a 2007 DUI conviction.
“It is expected that this investigation will be sent to the district attorney’s office later this week," Florez said.
Law enforcement sources told The Times they believe Lohan's failure to comply with the technician’s request for an alcohol breathalyzer is also a potential probation violation.
The announcement by Riverside County authorities comes as Lohan left the Betty Ford facility late Monday, having completed a three-month court-ordered stay at the facility. In October, over a prosecutor’s protests, Beverly Hills Judge Elden S. Fox spared the actress jail time after she tested positive for drugs, ordering her to stay at the center through Jan. 3.
He warned Lohan that he would put her in jail for six months if she violated probation again. It was her fifth time in rehab and she has already been to jail three times in connection with the case. Her stay at Betty Ford had been uneventful until Dec. 12 when, in the early morning hours, authorities got a 911 call from a halfway house in the city. Responding officers discovered the aftermath of an altercation. Technician Dawn Holland claimed that Lohan pushed her and hurt her wrist as the actress allegedly tried to yank a phone out of Holland's hand. Holland later spoke to TMZ.com and was promptly fired by the Betty Ford Center for breaching confidentiality.
Last week, Holland's attorney, Keith Davidson, said the technician had decided she no longer wanted to pursue prosecution and that, as a recovering addict herself, she sympathized with Lohan. Davidson sent a fax to Riverside County investigators saying she no longer wanted to press charges.
-- Richard Winton