COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a complaint this week alleging that the owner of a sober living program in Reynoldsburg was not operating in the best interests of its residents.
The AG’s office says the owner of Summer Rays was exploiting residents and taking advantage of them. Now the Franklin county court has seized control of its 25 property.
“I’ve been to treatment over 26 times. I’ve tried it my way every other time and this is where I came. This is where I found her. And now I have three years, six months and 16 days,” said Stephan Upshaw, resident with the Summer Rays sober living program.
Stephan Upshaw is just one of the many success stories of summer rays sober living program.
“I ended up homeless for four months during the winter. Kind of just broken,” said Eli Payton, a resident.
Now these two men live among family, people they have come to know and love. They all have one thing in common and that is addiction, that they all have beat through the Summer Rays program.
“I found a group of guys that I stuck with the first thing Chuck said to me was stick with the winners,” said Upshaw.
But their world was turned upside down. Over 100 residents of the program were left with no guidelines, with 6 residents having relapsed.
Court documents filed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas says that Chuck Kirk and his family controlled Summer Rays sober living facilities in a “cult-like environment.”
In the complaint it says that Kirk “harassed” and “abused” residents and allowed residents to engage in activities that were not appropriate for a sober living facility. Court records alleged unwanted physical contact and using money that was supposed to go towards the charitable organization for his and his family’s personal use.
Now, the court has gained control of the program.
“I’m sure every person has tried in the past the county-ran programs, the intensive outpatient IOPs. It does not work for everyone. There was always something that we were searching for in the majority of the people here found that in Summer Rays program that Chuck Kirk had to offer,” said Payton.
The court has temporarily placed Summer Rays and its properties in an independent addiction recovery program. Lighthouse Behavioral Health Solutions will meet with residents on Tuesday.