Attorney General Nessel Locks Up Immigrant Pizzeria Owner Who Fled Communism For “Freedom” In America

March 19 2021

Attorney General Nessel Locks Up Immigrant Pizzeria Owner Who Fled Communism For “Freedom” In America
Nessel is spending taxpayer money going after small business owners, but refuses to investigate nursing home deaths

LANSING, MICH—Under the leadership of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel locked up a small business owner Friday morning after she kept her Holland-Michigan pizzeria open to the public.

Marlena Hackney, who escaped communist rule in Poland as a teenager, was arrested Friday morning for, continuing to, “willfully violate the state’s food laws.”

Nessel and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development petitioned a court to enforce a shutdown order targeting Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential.

“Nessel is eager to spend taxpayer-funded resources going after small business owners trying to stave off bankruptcy but refuses to investigate the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents potentially caused by policies implemented by her political-ally Gretchen Whitmer,” said Ted Goodman, Communications Director of the Michigan Republican Party. “It’s a massive abuse of power and shows what her priorities are.”

Hackney closed her almost 20-year business in March 2020 after Whitmer declared a COVID emergency and imposed her first lockdown orders. She then reopened when some of the restrictions were lifted by summer.

“Marlena simply wants to work to support her family and the families of her employees,” said State Representative Mary Whiteford, who represents the District where Marlena’s restaurant is located. “She reminds me of my dad, never wanting government handouts. Every one of her customers has chosen to eat in her restaurant. They refuse to let government dictate their lives. Governor Whitmer must order her agencies to back down.”

When Whitmer reimposed a ban on indoor dining in the fall, Hackney chose to remain open in order to serve patrons, protect her employees, and to continue pursuing her version of the American Dream.

“Your health is your responsibility,” Hackney told Michigan Capitol Confidential. “I work hard. You work hard and you can accomplish many things. My employees depend on me.”

Hackney is currently lodged in the Ingham County Jail for arraignment Friday afternoon according to media reports.

Send all media inquiries to Ted Goodman, communications director, at

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