City of Anchorage settles lawsuit with children's home
Bellewood President and CEO Abby Drane said, “We’re just pleased it’s settled and excited to be in Anchorage for years to come.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The city of Anchorage and the Uspiritus-Bellewood Campus have settled litigation stemming from the city’s effort to stop the center from bringing in juveniles deemed too dangerous.
As part of the agreement, the Bellewood Campus agreed to not to accept children over the age of 18 unless the Anchorage mayor gives approval and to admit no juveniles who have been determined by a mental health professional to be a danger to themselves or others.
Also, the Bellewood Campus, which has been housing abused and neglected children for 140 years, will prohibit entrance to anyone who has been convicted of a crime within the last two years or has pending felony charges.
In addition, children accepted into the Bellewood Campus must be drug free and have no symptoms of withdrawal, according to the agreement signed on Aug. 25.
In November 2014, the city sued the orphanage in Jefferson Circuit Court, claiming it was housing too many dangerous children -- certified as “level five” kids -- violating a 2005 agreement between the two sides.
The settlement sets “bright line standards” for the center and city that “both sides will find mutually beneficial,” said city attorney John McGarvey.
Community members in the small city had become concerned after incidents in which police were called to the center, but McGarvey said “there has been no issues” in the last year.
Bellewood Campus President and CEO Abby Drane said, “We’re just pleased it’s settled and excited to be in Anchorage for years to come.”
Asked if the agreement would result in the Bellewood Campus being unable to take kids they had admitted in the past, Drane said she would not be “pleased” with the agreement if it meant care of children would suffer.
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