A Superior Court judge today ordered liens placed on three businesses owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos, after a gasoline supplier told the court he had failed to pay for $646,000 worth of fuel that the distributor had delivered to Mihos's gas stations since June.
Judge Jeffrey A. Locke rejected a request, however, by Noonan Brothers Petroleum Products to attach liens on Mihos's personal bank account and his West Yarmouth oceanfront home.
Mihos, a long-time operator of convenience stores on the South Shore and Cape Cod, said he was pleased with the decision, although the wrangling over his finances has produced some bad publicity as he tries to win delegates to the Republican convention in April. Local GOP caucuses are meeting this week and next to elect delegates.
Mihos, who is challenging the GOP establishment favorite Charles D. Baker for the party nomination, needs to get 15 percent of the delegates to win a place on the primary ballot.
''I see this is as a positive'' development, Mihos said. ''None of the personal issues stuck.''
He said the bills to Noonan Petroleum are close to $550,000, and he disputed that they are overdue. The case is still pending.
''I am absolutely unhappy with the tactics they took,'' Mihos said. ''Business is not beanbag, and these things happen. But why would anyone go to these kind of tactics other than they are trying to get business leverage in a political campaign?"
Noonan Brothers Petroleum's lawyer, Michael L. Sullivan, said his client is ready to settle with Mihos and his company, Christy's of Cape Cod, but will accept nothing less than the $646,000 it says it is owed for delivering gasoline to Mihos's gas stations in Hyannis, Dennis, and Chatham.
''We will not accept anything else,'' Sullivan said after a hearing in the Brockton court.
The conflict with one of his suppliers comes as Mihos deals with separate claims by three major vendors to his gubernatorial campaign, who say his committee owes them $43,500 for work involving website development, the production of television commercials, and media consulting. Mihos said two of the vendors were sent checks earlier this week.
In the gasoline dispute, one of the liens was placed on Mihos's main business office building in Hyannis, which doubles as his campaign headquarters. Another lien was placed on his convenience store in Dennis, which, according to Mihos's affidavit filed with the court, is worth $1.9 million but already had a $700,000 mortgage on it. A third lien is on the lease agreements Mihos has with the owner of a Buzzards Bay retail property.
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