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    Police-Fire Reports
    Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    Norwich events venue owner files claim of false arrest in ongoing dispute with city

    Huey Min Lee, owner of the Mount Crescent House bed and breakfast on Broadway in Norwich, on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, talks about her dispute with the city and neighbors over weddings and large events at the venue. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Norwich — In the latest round of the battle between the city and the owner of allegedly illegal events venues on Friday, property owner Huey Min Lee failed to appear in court on a criminal charge related to the dispute, and instead filed a notice of intent to sue the city and state’s attorney for false arrest.

    Lee, 61, of Norwich was charged by Norwich police on May 3 with failure to abate a fire hazard, in the wake of an inspection of her Mount Crescent House, an alleged illegal large events venue at 270 Broadway. A court clerk said Friday that Lee failed to appear for her 10 a.m. Friday court date to respond to the charge, and a re-arrest will be ordered on a charge of failure to appear in court.

    Lee instead filed an intent to sue form with the court on Friday, alleging Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Parker and Norwich Fire Marshal Mark Gilot “conspired to commit false arrest against Huey Min Lee, owner of Mount Crescent House.”

    In her two-page filing, Lee repeated earlier claims that Gilot had violated her private property rights by illegally trespassing on her Mount Crescent House property for the fire inspection on Dec. 13, which led to the criminal charge. Lee also claimed that Gilot committed mail fraud by mailing the violation notice to her following the inspection. Gilot wrote in his inspection report that he found 18 fire safety code violations during the Dec. 13 inspection.

    Separate from the criminal proceeding, the city has filed a civil suit against the ownership LLCs for three of Lee’s Norwich properties — 270 Broadway, 380 Washington St. and 113 Mediterranean Lane — allegedly being operated as large events venues in violation of city zoning regulations.

    The court denied Lee’s motion to dismiss the case, and a remote hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 1 on the city’s request for a court injunction to stop Lee from hosting large events at the three properties. Also pending in the civil case is a court ruling on Lee's motion to find the city in contempt for allegedly violating her private property rights.

    c.bessette@theday.com

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