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E-M:/ Cherry Tree Inn Hotel owner sentenced for bulldozing beach

TRAVERSE CITY -- A corporate boss who outraged local environmental groups will now take direction from one of them as punishment for the destruction of protected Great Lakes bottomlands.

Eighty-Sixth District Judge Michael Haley sentenced Joseph Moffa to one year of probation on Tuesday. Moffa, an owner of the Cherry Tree Inn on U.S. 31 North in East Bay Township, had a bulldozer drive more than 120 feet into the bay behind the hotel in November 2006.

Haley also ordered Moffa to complete 30 days of community service with the Grand Traverse Conservation District, a government organization that manages public lands and promotes environmental protection through education and volunteerism.