KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A court hearing was held earlier this month over a Kissimmee hotel in limbo after unpaid bills forced families living there to go without water and power.
- Families at Lake Cecile Inn & Suites on US 192 are without power
- Property owner owes at least $25,000 in unpaid utility bills
- Personal-injury lawyer has taken one resident's case pro bono
Lawyer Jeremy Hogan filed an emergency temporary injunction against the hotel in December. Although Hogan is a personal-injury attorney, he said that after seeing Spectrum News 13’s coverage on the matter, he was moved to represent one of the tenants pro bono.
After the emergency injunction was filed in December, a judge ordered Mary Nguyen, the owner of Lake Cecile Inn & Suites, to pay the hotel’s unpaid bills.
On January 3, Nguyen showed up in court for the first time since the injunction. The property owes $7,300 to Toho Water Authority. It's also behind on its Kissimmee Utility Authority bill, owing almost $18,000.
Also present in court was Natina Conley, the new business manager who is leasing the property from hotel owner Nguyen.
Conley said she’s working hard to make sure the lights and utilities are turned back on as soon as possible.
“The families have been awesome. The families have been over there trying to help me clean up the place... You have to understand there are other people coming in, homeless people destroying the place. (But) the families are awesome. I have nothing bad to say about them,” Conley said.
Conley said the rooms will also be updated to give residents a better quality of life.
Another hearing is scheduled for February 3, and if the bills aren't paid, the property could be held in contempt.