Magnate, gov candidate Christy Mihos dead at 67
Christy Mihos, a former convenience store magnate whose fame as a Big Dig critic and two-time Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate was shadowed late in life by bankruptcy and a messy divorce, reportedly has died after a recent cancer diagnosis.
Mihos died in hospice on Saturday in Stuart, Fla., the Cape Cod Times reported. He was 67.
Mihos, a Brockton native and owner of the Christy’s chain of convenience stores and gas stations, made a name for himself as an early and vehement critic of the Big Dig project. As vice chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, he correctly predicted the project would run billions over budget and later penned a book, “Rotten to the Core: The Real Dirt on Boston’s Big Dig.”
“We’ve been burdened by this, the public has been burdened by this, for years and years, and I think at some point you have to say ‘enough is enough ... finish it on time,’?” Mihos thundered at a typically fiery Turnpike Authority meeting in 2001.
Mihos went on to fashion himself as a populist hero, running unsuccessfully for governor as an independent in 2006 and again as a Republican in 2010 in a lively primary battle versus Charlie Baker during which the colorful gadfly decried “country club Republicans.”
“There’s no B.S. with Christy. He calls ’em as he sees ’em,” Baker told the Herald after his 2010 victory as he headed out for beers with Mihos.
“I have my life back. I know that the better candidate won. I’m happy, he’s happy, so why not?” Mihos said at the time. He was a multimillionaire, having sold 132 of his stores to the owner of 7-Eleven for a reported $33 million in 1998.
But Mihos’ life went on to take a dark turn.
He sold off his last convenience store in 2010 and was plagued by financial problems, lawsuits, property liens and domestic troubles. He was sued by former campaign staffers for unpaid wages and fined for inappropriate campaign expenditures.
Andrea Mihos, his wife since 1974, filed for divorce in 2012 after accusing him of assault and threatening to kill her near their Florida home in February. Her lawyer alleged that Christy Mihos burned through $25 million since 2009, spending the money on his political campaigns and prostitutes.
They were granted a divorce in 2013, and Mihos was ordered to give his wife and children his remaining $4 million, but he had trouble meeting the terms of the divorce agreement.
That year, his company filed for bankruptcy, with estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.
Earlier this year, Mihos served a 10-day sentence at the Barnstable County jail for failing to pay nearly $79,000 he owed his wife as part of the divorce decree, according to the Cape Cod Times.
A funeral will be held for Mihos from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Pierce, Fla.