HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A West Michigan restaurant owner who spent four nights in jail for violating coronavirus-related orders is firing back weeks later with a demand that $15,000 in fines be refunded and contempt findings dropped.
An attorney for Marlena Pavlos-Hackney said her rights were violated during a contentious court hearing on March 19.
State regulators yanked Pavlos-Hackney’s food license in January for serving indoor diners and breaking other rules related to preventing the spread of COVID-19. But the restaurant, Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland, stayed open in defiance.
Pavlos-Hackney refused to turn herself in to face a contempt hearing. She was arrested and spent four nights in jail until authorities were convinced that her restaurant would stay closed.
Attorney Robert Baker, who wasn’t hired until Pavlos-Hackney was arrested, said a judge questioned her without recognizing that she had a lawyer. He said there was “no testing of any evidence” or an opportunity to cross-examine or produce witnesses.
A message seeking comment was sent to the attorney general’s office.