Steven McGowan: The Ex-Boy Scouts General Counsel is Now Retired

With Netflix’s ‘Scouts Honor’ delving deep into the way the Boy Scouts of America covered up its nationwide problem of child sexual abuse for decades, we get a documentary unlike any other. After all, this Brian Knappenberger-directed original features not just experts, survivors, and whistleblowers but also former members to really shine a light upon the horrid complexity of this matter. Amongst them was thus this youth organization’s former General Counsel, Steven McGowan — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about him and his current standing, we’ve got you covered.

Who is Steven McGowan?

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Steven has reportedly been a member of Boy Scouts ever since he was a young boy; he even earned the program’s highest rank of Eagle Scout while still a teen. It hence comes as no surprise this Xaverian Brothers High School turned West Virginia University law graduate has been extremely loyal to the institute in every way, shape, or form for years. In fact, that’s partly why he soon began volunteering for them in his free time, only to wound up receiving their renowned Silver Buffalo Award before being appointed General Counsel in 2013.

The truth is Steven was proudly serving as a full-time attorney at the time, yet his holding all three of the Scouts’ highest accolades for adults indicated he rarely neglected his volunteering duties. However, according to the production, he as well as the youth organization once believed the child sexual abuse issues they faced were “minuscule,” which he further soft-pedaled in the film. The fact Youth Protection Director Michael Johnson further expressed the lawyer often blocked him from implementing policies to keep scouts safe didn’t help either, though the latter has outrightly denied this.

“Personally, [I’m] very disappointed,” Steven stated in the documentary. “[ Michael] never expressed that sentiment” of Boy Scouts being unsafe for young kids, to which the latter reacted, “he’s lying.” Coming to the soft-pedaling part, he expressed the institution didn’t lie about having an abuse problem: “82,000 [victims]… over what period time? And we don’t even know that that’s the number.” Yet, then he added, “But even one is too many… 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.”

Referring to the Boy Scouts’ response (or the complete lack thereof) to the incidents they did know about, as colored in their 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’m hop – – I know we’re doing better, and I hope we’ll continue to do better. But the fact is, people have sometimes made mistakes.”

Where is Steven McGowan Now?

Coming to Steven’s current whereabouts, he actually parted ways with the now-notorious youth organization as General Counsel in 2022, but he ostensibly continues volunteering for it even today. On the other hand, it appears as if this attorney has since also retired from his position at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in West Virginia and relocated to Sebastian, Florida, where he’s admittedly “living the dream.” It seems like he’s a family man surrounded by his loved ones at the moment, making him perfectly content.

Read More: Thomas Hacker: How Did the Boy Scouts’ Serial Pedophile Die?