Recovery center files complaint for funds | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN – Sebastian Rucci, owner of the California Palms Addiction Recovery Center, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court asking for funds removed from his facility in a raid to be returned.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that the federal government seized $ 603,902 from Rucci’s personal and business bank accounts after obtaining five search warrants on October 4. The officials executed the warrants the next day.

The money is “all funds available to pay employee salaries, buy food, pay utilities, health insurance and other operating costs,” the file says.

“It took 57 months to build the treatment center and it was destroyed in just a few weeks” by the illegal seizure, he said.

It states that the Fourth Amendment provides that “no warrant will be issued, but on probable cause… and in particular describing the place to be searched, the people or things to be seized. “

He adds: “The warrants used to seize (Rucci’s) money only mention the seized property. The warrants omit the crime to support the link to seize the funds. ”

On October 5, agents from various federal and state agencies served a search warrant at the facility on National Highway 46 in Austintown while they were investigating.

At the time, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which allows additional treatment facilities, said the facility was temporarily closed due to the investigation.

On October 26, Judge Maureen Sweeney of the Mahoning County Common Plea Court refused to stay the implementation of a state order to revoke the facility’s license.

Rucci told The Vindicator that the loss of his Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services certification to operate a drug and alcohol treatment center resulted in about half of his 70 clients being referred to d other establishments.

He said about 35 clients can no longer be treated at California Palms without a license, but the remaining 35 may remain there under a lower level of care closer to a salvage home.

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