Real estate magnate steps down to fight “baseless” sex allegations

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Mike Lyon, CEO of one of the leading real estate businesses in Sacramento and the foothills, has taken a leave of absence from his post because of a legal cloud now hovering over his private life. Sacramento media reports over the past week have zeroed in on a brewing scandal that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office state they won’t pursue further after a 16-month investigation. But the investigation has now been taken up by the Sacramento County district attorney’s offices. The Lyon Real Estate office on Highway 49 in North Auburn referred questions today about any impact it was experiencing to a news release issued by the Sacramento-based parent business. “With the best interests of Lyon Real Estate and its agents in mind,” the release stated. “Lyon Real Estate announced today that Mike Lyon will take an immediate leave of absence as CEO. After being cleared of any wrongdoing by the U.S. Attorney and FBI, Mike Lyon will spend time clearing his good name and dealing with the current baseless allegations being investigated by the District Attorney.” Jean Li, Lyon’s president and chief operating officer, has assumed the position of CEO until further notice, the statement said. The Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday that the allegations being investigated include secret cameras in bedrooms and bathrooms, in homes owned by Lyon. CBS 13 said it has been provided with images from Mike Lyons “sex tapes” that authorities are currently reviewing. “The first image shows a man, said to be Lyon, laying on a bed and smiling,” the CBS 13 report states. “Standing in front of him is a woman who sources say is a prostitute, wearing no clothes.” The Channel 13 report said the recording, which includes a sexual encounter between the two, is significant because the station has confirmed law enforcement sources are investigating Lyon was involved with prostitutes. The investigation is also determining whether Lyon secretly videotaped naked children “in compromising positions,” the CBS website report states. The story has regional significance because of the Lyon presence in the area, with 18 real estate offices and some 900 employees. The business itself is more than 60 years old. Mike Lyon is well-known in local business circles and served as keynote speaker at an Auburn Chamber of Commerce-city of Auburn-sponsored “Power Breakfast” last year highlighting the economy.