Panagakos Accuses Gomes of Interfering with Cannabis Business [OPINION]
Real estate developer Michael Panagakos is a serious person. He hasn’t gotten to his station in life without throwing some punches and taking some, too.
Lately, there has been a feud going in the press between City Councilor Brian Gomes and Mike Panagakos. The two men have known each other for decades. New Bedford is a small city and everyone knows everyone in some way. Certainly, a longtime elected official and a successful businessman are going to have interactions. But their relationship, whatever it once was, has burst – and it has burst into the media.
Panagakos owns commercial real estate all over the greater New Bedford area. He has restaurants, cell phone stores, and exercise studios for tenants. He also has one tenant who wants to sell legal marijuana in New Bedford.
The developer and his legal team believe City Councilor Brian Gomes is trying to interfere with Metro Harvest, the cannabis tenant.
On Thursday, October 31, 2019, a constable served Councilor Gomes with this letter from Panagakos’ attorney: Gomes Letter.
I left a message on Councilor Gomes’ cell phone specific to this issue and haven’t heard back as of this writing.
The letter, from Attorney Gregory J. Koldys of the Law Firm Koldys & Kelleher, P.C. goes much further than a claim of casual interference. The letter claims Gomes, a city official, attempted to direct the marijuana business to rent a different location in the city and that zoning changes would be forthcoming if required. Zoning is in some measure a responsibility of the New Bedford City Council.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.