Troubled youth facility to fight license suspension

MISSOULA (AP) — A Montana program for troubled youth is contesting its license suspension after the state removed 27 children from its facility.

The Missoulian reported Tuesday that the Ranch for Kids in Rexford will have a closed hearing with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The department removed the children July 23 for what officials called allegations of “egregious, chronic, and persistent” abuse and neglect.

Officials based the suspension on reports of children being “hit, kicked, body-slammed and spit on” by staff.

Ranch for Kids Executive Director Bill Sutley has denied the allegations that date back 10 years.

Sutley says there was “no evidence to support the suspension.”

State legislation that went into effect July 1 gives the health department oversight of 14 programs for troubled teens.

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