MASON, Mich. — Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, the owner of Marlena's Bistro resturant, who was arrested Friday for allegedly failing to comply with local health orders, has been released from jail.
Pavlos-Hackney, 55, walked out of the Ingham County jail Tuesday afternoon just before 2:00 p.m. to a small group of family members and supporters.
She gave a thumbs up, saying, "Praise the Lord. Freedom!"
FOX 17 got the chance to speak with Marlena and her attorney Robert Baker just a few hours after she was released.
“Thanks to all of you, all my supporters... to support me through this battle I went through, from the beginning, for the praise, all the cards and encouragement I received from everyone. I'd like to say thank you. This means a lot to me,” Marlena told FOX 17 Tuesday.
“And I also would like to say thanks to everyone in... Ingham [County] jail. They were very great, very supportive, very helpful, which helped me go through the hard process of doing 5 days in jail.”
Baker said Tuesday's release was just the first step in a long road ahead for Marlena's case.
“We’re going to go through and come up with a strategy and tactics. The fight is just going to begin," he told FOX 17 Tuesday.
"We’re going to file a lot of motions, we’re going to test the underlying charges against Marlena, we’re going to look at civil actions in addition to that…. We have a lot of work to do.”
Marlena was joined by her attorney Robert Baker and Gretchen Molotky, a legal investigator working on her team.
—You can watch the full interview with Marlena, Baker, and Molotky below—
She was taken into custody by several Michigan State Police troopers early Friday morning near her home.
A bench warrant had been issued for her arrest by an Ingham County judge on March 5 for failure to comply in a civil case filed against her by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Attorney General Dana Nessel alleged in a press release sent out after her arrest that a customer had tested positive for COVID-19 within two days of eating at the restaurant.