The Crestone Eagle • September, 2020
Moffat Mayor charged with misconduct
by Mary Lowers
Moffat Mayor Patricia Regiel, has been summoned to appear in court to answer to charges of official misconduct for improperly taking items from a local pot grow. District Attorney Willet charged the mayor with two counts of misconduct, after hearing complaints from Moffat citizens following a May incident.
Count 1: Official Oppression accuses the mayor of, in her official capacity, taking advantage of the official status knowing this conduct was illegal and unlawful. In this case it involves illegal search and seizure.
Count 2: is first degree official misconduct by a public servant with intent to obtain benefit for any person. In this instance the mayor stands accused of unlawful exercise of her official function. She was served a summons to appear in court August 5.
On May 18 Mayor Regiel, Moffat Marijuana Code Enforcer Dan Zeck, and Garegin Pogosyan, aka Po, a Moffat resident previously employed at a pot-growing operation at 714 Mayor Patricia Regiel Blvd. in Moffat, went to that address to get Po’s alleged property which had been left there. According to State records, this pot grow had not been in operation since Dec 2019 after some portion of the crop grown at the facility could not be accounted for. Po claimed that the shutdown left him unable to retrieve
some of his equipment. This is where Saguache County Sheriff, Dan Warwick says, “Mayor Regiel and her Town compliance team appeared to become involved in a matter that was between an employee and employer. There is a possible question of judgement here, Regiel should not have gotten herself involved. She should have let the parties settle it themselves.”
Video at 714 Patricia Regiel Blvd shows Dan Zeck, a Code Enforcement officer paid by the Town of Moffat assisting in hauling items off the property. The current renter of the pot grow, Matt Litrenta,was under the impression that the mayor and code enforcer were at the grow to do an inspection. He was approached by the mayor on the subject of Po’s alleged property recovery and agreed they could take possession of the property Po claimed was his. Litrenta told the Sheriff “ that since the mayor and members of Canna Valley Consulting were there with Po I assumed that whatever they were doing was legal.”
When Po took an unassembled greenhouse still in the box Litrenta became suspicious and called his landlord, Michael Biggo. Upon getting back to Litranta, Biggo said that “lights and can filters were the only property Po could take.” By the time Biggio got to the property Po was already gone with the lights and other property.
Biggio manages the pot grow for property owner Zangxi Gao who lives in Massachusetts. Mayor Regiel claims that the Town Of Moffat had done an investigation and had given Po permission to retrieve his property. Sheriff Warwick got a statement from Gao saying that items were taken without his permission. He said the items removed from the grow were his and not Po’s and further stated the items removed were valued at $43,400. It was after speaking with Goa that the Sheriff submitted a recommendation to pursue charges against Mayor Regiel to DA Willett.