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CHATHAM, Mass. – The recent closure of the final two Christy's convenience store and gas station locations on Cape Cod marks the end of the retail chain owned by businessman and politician Christy Mihos, CapeCodOnline.com reported.
"There were rumblings about this for a long time, so it did not come as a surprise," Chatham Selectman David Whitcomb said in the report.
One of the two newly closed locations was located in Chatham, the other was located in Dennis, Mass. While the future of the properties is unclear, Mihos owns the Dennis lot and, if its permitting issues are resolved, a convenience store could operate at the site, according to the report.
The Chatham location is owned by Five MJ Inc., and according to a memo sent to town officials by the planning department and cited by the paper, the owners do not yet have plans for what to do next with the property.
Mihos could not be reached for comment by the Web site.
According to area published reports, the locations closed because parent company Christy's of Cape Cod has a non-compete agreement with Hess Corp., which purchased 11 Christy's from Mihos in February 2009. Hess also retained the option of buying the remaining locations from Mihos but declined to do so, according to the reports cited by the Web site.
A Hess spokeswoman declined to comment to CapeCodOnline.com. However, it noted Mihos and his company have faced significant financial difficulties in the past year, with Christy's of Cape Cod the subject of a January lawsuit by Noonan Brothers Petroleum Products, a West Bridgewater gas supplier, which contended that Mihos' company owed $634,000 for goods and delivery fees. While the parties settled, Noonan Brothers brought Christy's back to court in June, arguing the company failed to live up to its end of the bargain, according to records filed in Plymouth Superior Court and cited by CapeCodOnline.com. The judge dismissed Noonan Brothers' motion, but the company is now appealing, according to the report.
Mihos faced some personal financial difficulties earlier this year, when he campaigned for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the report stated. Four campaign employees brought action against him, alleging he owed them $78,000 in unpaid wages. The claims of at least two of those campaign workers have since been settled, according to the Web site. Mihos also agreed to pay $70,000 to settle infractions of state campaign finance laws involving, among other things, use of his business funds to pay campaign expenses, the report noted.