Georgetown revokes child behavioral health center’s license citing ‘public nuisance’

Shaun H. Ruff


GEORGETOWN S.C. (WCSC) – The Georgetown City Council voted Thursday to revoke a behavioral health center’s business license on the basis of it being a public nuisance.

The council voted 6-1 in favor of revoking Broadstep Behavioral Health Center’s business license at the municipal courthouse.

The 32-bed behavioral health facility off Highmarket Street currently houses around 20 children under the care of the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

DSS said the children who live there are victims of child abuse and neglect by their family or caregivers.

The Georgetown Police Department confirmed they asked for Broadstep’s business license not to be renewed because they have received around 150 calls for service and over 70 incident reports related to the facility since 2020.

Police said they have been called for fights, assaults, disturbances, runaways and a sexual assault over that time.

During Thursday’s hearing, Police Chief William Pierce says Broadstep’s business license expired back in April, and they have charged the facility five times for operating without a business license since then.

The city says the facility’s business license renewal was denied in June, which led to the hearing before the city council.

Georgetown City Mayor Carol Jayroe said the facility could have done more to deal with the calls for service.

“Broadstep has not made one step in the right direction to mitigate any of these actions in my opinion,” Jayroe said. “There’s not been one—there’s not a month that it stopped, so there’s nothing that has changed with Broadstep since you opened.”

Lewis Gossett, an attorney who represents Broadstep, called Thursday’s decision disappointing.

“We feel very strongly that the children that we treat are not nuisances, and they certainly tried to make the case,” Gossett said. “Obviously, from council’s perspective, they did, that the business itself is a nuisance, but it was all about the kids. It was all about the kids’ actions and about the kids’ activities.”

Gossett also said his clients have the option to appeal the city’s decision to the circuit court.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.


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