Where is Steven McGowan Now? Ex-Boy Scouts Lawyer Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: September 7, 2023 (Last updated: September 9, 2023)
Where is Steven McGowan Now - Ex-Boy Scouts Lawyer Explained

Where is Steven McGowan now? We explain where the former general counsel is now and what Steven Mc Gowan did for the Boy Scouts. 

Scout’s Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America is a documentary on Netflix that exposes the horrific scale of child abuse that went on in the Boy Scouts of America, an organization known for its image of child safety. Thousands of victims have been impacted, and the scandal has been going on for decades.

Steven McGowan served as the general counsel for the Boy Scouts of America. Throughout the documentary, he addresses the scandal but makes several controversial comments. Steven was accused of clashing with the Youth Protection Director, Michael Johnson, and blocking his policies, which Steven denied.

Who is Steven McGowan from Boy Scouts?

Steven McGowan was the general counsel for the Boy Scouts of America. He grew up in grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. He went to the Xaverian Brothers High School and has had a long history with the Boy Scouts since he was young.

His long relationship with the Scouts saw him recruited in 2007 to help lead a group called the West Virginia Project Arrow Task. This group was responsible for moving the Boy Scouts’ Jamboree from a military base in Virginia to a permanent location: the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve.

Due to his dedication and efforts supporting the Boy Scouts, Steven was rewarded the Silver Buffalo Award at the National Annual Meeting in Dallas.

What did Steven McGowan do for Boy Scouts?

Steven served as the Boys Scouts of America’s general counsel from 2013 to 2022. In the Scout’s Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America documentary, he refutes the claims about the Boy Scouts several times, even making controversial comments regarding the high numbers of abuse in the organization.

He says in the documentary: “82,000… over what period? And we don’t even know that that’s the number. But one is too many.” The documentary shows that he and the organization he represented believed the abuse issues they faced were “minuscule.”

Steven was accused by former Boy Scouts Youth Protection Director Michael Johnson of blocking policies that would have helped keep the boys safe, but Steven denied this in the film.

“Personally, [I’m] very disappointed,” Steven explained. “[Michael] never expressed that sentiment of Boy Scouts being unsafe for young kids.” Michael bluntly reacted with “he’s lying.”

Steven seemed to downplay the abuse issue, arguing that the Scouts were scapegoated. “If we had a problem, our entire society had a problem. Many other institutions had the problem. We just happened to be the one with the deep pocket right now.”

When asked about the Scouts’ response to the abuse scandal, the many incidents, and the Red Flag or Perversion Files, Steven said, “When mistakes were made, mistakes were made. If people did that, then they were wrong. And we failed. And I know we’re doing better, and I hope we’ll continue to do better. But the fact is, people have sometimes made mistakes.”

Finally, he said the organization as a whole wasn’t to blame for the abuse problem. “The Boy Scouts of America did not abuse these kids. We had some bad people that got in,” Steven said.

Where is Steven McGowan Now?

Steve McGowan left as general counsel for the Boy Scouts of America in 2022. He’s now living with his wife in Sebastian, Florida, and has said he’s living the dream. He’s now retired and pursuing his interests in fishing and photography. He donates to different charities, including the Jeffrey Coombs Memorial Foundation Inc.

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