AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Earlier this week, multiple agencies raided Braking Point Recovery Center in Austintown. But on Friday, people showed their support for the center and its owner.
“I came here, you know, broken, beaten,” Tommy Vargo said. “And here I stand, a testament to recovery and a testament to this place.”
Several dozen Braking Point employees and clients say they support Ryan Sheridan. They were outside the center at about 11 a.m., praying together and holding signs.
“I wouldn’t have the home that I have for my family,” Jennifer Poling said. “I wouldn’t be able to provide for them.This guy (Sheridan) is a believer in second chances.”
Sheridan’s Leetonia home and business were raided by several law enforcement authorities on Wednesday. Agents also raided another home in Austintown and a Columbus-area Braking Point facility.
“I work with him every single day — I’m his assistant,” Mellissa Smyth said. “And so I know him more than most of these people do. And its just a shame. I’ll stand by him in everything he does.”
They are investigating charges that may be related to Medicaid fraud.
The recovery center is no longer permitted to treat Medicaid patients.
Workers say they don’t know what will happen to the Austintown facility, but are doing whatever they can for their clients, regardless of who is paying for treatment — even if it’s free.
“I’ll do it for free,” Tom O’Donnell said. “I intend on keeping contact with some other clients — that’s the kind of people we are. We’re a recovery community.”