TYBEE ISLAND, GA. — A beachfront hotel owner accused of having workers remove part of a sand dune will pay $10,000 to fund environmental education programs as part of a settlement with the state.
Harry Spirides, the owner of the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island, signed a consent order with the state Friday. In July, he admitted hiring laborers to shovel sand in the middle of the night from a dune behind his hotel over three weeks in February and March.
Spirides has said he was just trying to clear sand from a walkway leading to the beach, but investigators noted that the walkway is 60 feet from the dune.
The total cost to the hotelier could be more than $20,000 after he pays legal fees and restores the dune, said Spud Woodward, the head of the Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division.
In other news
MUSCOGEE COUNTY election officials are investigating a Columbus voter’s complaint that another person was allowed to cast a ballot in his place. Willie J. Tate was turned away from voting Tuesday after being told records showed he had voted four days earlier. The county elections director said whoever voted in Tate’s name showed a driver’s license that matched his voter registration.