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State AG’s office investigates Mackinaw City hotel owners

A Mackinaw City hotel owner is being investigated by the state Attorney General's office.
Charles Dawley
A Mackinaw City hotel owner is being investigated by the state Attorney General's office.

The Michigan Attorney General's office has accused the owner of several hotels in Mackinaw City of unlawful business practices.

The attorney general's office sent a notice of intended action this week to Joe Lieghio, alleging three of Lieghio's hotels have been "unfair and deceptive" to customers.

Interlochen Public Radio reports the Lieghio family owns at least 20 hotels in Mackinaw City.

The hotels named in the attorney general's investigation are the Beach House Hotel, Crown Choice Inn & Suites, and Hamilton Inn Select Beachfront.

As part of its investigation, the attorney general's office said it sent a special agent to one of the Lieghio hotels last November. According to the AG's Notice of Intended Action, the agent made a reservation but arrived to find the hotel closed, with a sign directing would-be guests to check in at a different hotel.

The agent was told it was "past the point where the reservation could be canceled to receive a refund," the attorney general's letter said.

In a statement, Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office "will not tolerate actions that threaten our reputation in the tourism industry or harm consumers."

"Tourism is part of the life blood for the economy in northern Michigan," Nessel said. 

Her department gave the hotels until February 18 to address its findings. Depending on Lieghio's response, Nessel said the attorney general's office could sue the hotel owners, conduct a formal investigation with subpoenas, or reach an agreement with the owners.

Joe Lieghio has not yet responded to an interview request for this story.

Morgan Springer is a reporter/producer at Interlochen Public Radio. Her stories have also aired on NPR, Michigan Radio and National Native News. Morgan's story "Behind Bars, transformation through poetry" won a first place, national PRNDI award in the soft feature category. She is a 2014 graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
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