SAN JOSE -- A nonprofit alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility was shut down Wednesday after the state denied an extension of its license for unspecified reasons, shuttling residents to other centers.
A small bus full of clients was seen leaving the LifeChoices facility at 1157 E. Taylor St., and people were observed carrying out a bag of prescription bottles and files early Wednesday afternoon.
According to the California Department of Health Care Services, after the denial "the facility no longer holds a valid license to operate a residential treatment facility."
The department "is ensuring that residents are accommodated elsewhere to minimize any interruption in the treatment services that they need," spokesman Matt Robinson wrote in an email. "Since this is an ongoing investigation, DHCS cannot offer any further information at this time."
LifeChoices director Richard Franco said, "we got railroaded," after being given a laundry list of code violations.
"There are so many deficiencies that they brought up, I haven't had a chance to look at it," he said, adding that there were no criminal allegations and a recent inspection by the fire Marshall came up clean.
He believes the shutdown stems from a "personality conflict" that started about five years ago with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and a resulting legal action.
Franco said that, based on what he was told by state inspectors at his facility on Wednesday, they're not going to reopen.
"We're done," he said. "The guy from the state said don't bother reapplying."
He said that wasn't fair, and added that he provides services for "the indigent, people living under bridges who have no money."
"I don't care if I got 200 violations, they should have given us a chance to clean it up instead of just coming at us with 100 violations and then saying close down," he said.
LifeChoices is a 31-bed coed facility that has been involved in residential treatment for alcohol and drug addiction for more than 10 years.
Treatment is for addiction to alcoholism, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, PCP and prescription medicines.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.