Michael Lyon arrested on drug, violating probation charges
By Sam Stanton and Marjie Lundstrom
firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Sacramento Bee Last modified: 2014-10-02T16:57:03Z
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 - 9:05 pm
Michael Lyon, the disgraced former head of Lyon Real Estate, was arrested Wednesday on felony drug possession and eavesdropping charges, according to online booking records from the Sacramento County jail.
Lyon, a one-time Sacramento philanthropist and Boy Scout leader, fell from grace in 2010 when he was arrested and charged with secretly filming women and himself engaged in sex acts in his home.
The arrest spawned revelations that Lyon was under investigation for allegedly filming family friends and a nanny through cameras hidden in his Arden area home and his Lake Tahoe family retreat.
Lyon, 58, pleaded guilty in 2011 to felony counts of electronic eavesdropping and served a portion of his one-year sentence in the county jail and on home detention. He later settled a civil suit for $2.5 million and an apology to former nannies, baby sitters and friends who said he had secretly taped them in bathrooms, bedrooms and showers.
Lyon is being held at the Sacramento County jail without bail following his arrest by probation officers.
He faces a felony count of possession for sale of a controlled substance, non-narcotic; a felony count of possession of a dangerous drug; and a felony eavesdropping count.
A source said Lyon was found to be in possession of an ounce of methamphetamine.
The eavesdropping count lists Lyon as being ineligible for bail, and a law enforcement source indicated that it is related to the original charges to which he pleaded guilty, not allegations that he was taking new videos of victims.
“He’s got major problems that will never go away,” said Sacramento attorney Bob Zimmerman, who represented victims in the civil action. “This just confirms that this stuff has been going on for two decades.”
A family member of one victim said Wednesday she was stunned by news of Lyon’s latest arrest, adding that she hopes “the entire truth comes out.”
“People need to understand that he is a predator and a dangerous man,” said the family member, who is not being named to protect the identity of the victim.
Lyon is due to appear in court Friday afternoon, and at his sentencing in 2011 Superior Court Judge Gary Ransom sternly warned him of the consequences of re-offending.
“I can’t stress this enough, partner,” Ransom told him. “If you do it, I’m going to send you to prison.”
Lee Seale, chief probation officer for Sacramento County, said in a statement that probation officers went to Lyon’s home at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.
“Mr. Lyon had missed a scheduled visit at the probation department and as a result of his non-compliance, was contacted … by a team of probation officers at his residence,” Seale wrote. “Subsequent to the compliance search, Michael Lyon was arrested for violation of Health and Safety Code section 11378 (possession of methamphetamine) and for violation of probation.
“Also arrested was Shannon Campbell for violation of section 11378 and an outstanding warrant. Both were transported and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail.”
Campbell, 40, has previous arrests on charges of burglary, forgery and theft of utility services, according to online Sacramento Superior Court records.
She is being held on two felony drug counts and a probation violation.
Lyon’s former spokesman, Sacramento crisis communications expert Doug Elmets, said the arrest was “surprising but not shocking.”
“I think that given his previous arrest, one would have thought that being sent to jail was sufficient,” Elmets said. “But clearly he has been living on the edge and now he is going to suffer the consequences, which presumably will be as severe if not more than his previous punishment.
“It’s a sad tale, not only for him but for the agents and brokers who work for Lyon Real Estate and ultimately his family, who have repeatedly had his back.”
Lyon’s attorney, William J. Portanova, said he believes “there’s hope for Mike, and we’re going to get him there.”
“Mike Lyon has suffered through more than his share of tragedies, and while some may have been self-inflicted, he is still a man worth saving, even from himself,” Portanova said.