A week after being ordered to shut down its Springfield clinic, officials at a drug rehabilitation center say state inspectors have harassed them into closing their Chesapeake clinic.
Straight Inc. officials say they will shut down their Chesapeake center because state inspectors have been at the clinic almost every day for two weeks and have interrupted patient treatment, according to Joy Margolis, vice president for public affairs at Straight Inc.'s national headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla. A closing date has not been announced.
"It has become impossible to treat clients because our counselors are busy with these inspections," Margolis said. " We would be lying to our families if we said we could care for our clients this way."
Margolis would not say what the parents who have children in the program will do when the clinic is closed.
"I would ask the state what they want to do with these children," she said. " They don't seem concerned about their treatment.
Last week, Straight was ordered to close its facility on Backlick Road in Springfield after state inspectors found 76 state licensing violations, ranging from not providing a suicidal teen with therapy to not having emergency numbers on all phones.
The center was given until Monday to close or appeal and ask for a hearing before the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse. Straight officials have not filed the appeal, but Margolis said they would appeal by Monday afternoon.
Jacqueline Ennis, an assistant commissioner for the department, denied the state has been harassing clinic officials in Chesapeake.
Ennis said the department received a complaint from a parent and a child in the program and decided to visit the Chesapeake center last week. After talking with counselors there, she said state inspectors decided they needed a full licensure investigation.
Straight Inc. signed a consent agreement last July that allows for unannounced visits and called for Straight to fix some problems at the site.
Ennis would not say what the complaints were about. She also would not say whether the state commissioner was on the verge of revoking Straight's license in Chesapeake.
Margolis said state inspectors have found a series of "only minor problems" such as missing names on paperwork and no records of tuberculosis tests on all counselors.
"Those aren't problems that should shut us down, but they keep harrassing us," Margolis said. "We have no choice."