Moffat mayor refuses to resign

Moffat Mayor Patricia Reigel transports marijuana growing equipment to a truck bed after allegedly assisting a former employee in collecting his belongings from the grow. Courtesy photo

Ecklund tenders resignation

MOFFAT — During a meeting held the evening of Tuesday, June 9, the town of Moffat trustees discussed the resignation of acting town clerk Kristen Ecklund and Mayor Patricia Reigel, in the wake of allegations that Reigel assisted in inappropriately seizing items from a local cannabis grow.

While Ecklund has apparently resigned, an attendee at the meeting reports Reigel has no intention of resigning. She handed a letter to Ecklund and town trustee Kenneth Skoglund, also reportedly asked to resign, but did not appear to share its contents with trustees. Trustee Brian Morgan was adamant that Reigel remain in the mayor’s position.

Reigel’s resignation will be discussed further during an executive session scheduled for the town’s July meeting, the attendee said.

Complaint filed with Sheriff’s Office

Zengxi Gao purchased his marijuana operation from Whitney Justice’s Potch LLC group in 2019. On June 4, Gao, owner of Hong Xing Land Holdings, made a voluntary statement to the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office as follows:

“On May 20, between 11 a.m and 3 p.m., both Garegin Pogosyan and Ernest Gonzalez along with the Mayor of Moffat and two MED agents, Dan and Gean (Jen?), without my permission, went to my farm located at 714 Mayor Patricia Reigel Blvd. in Moffat and took away some valuable equipment from my farm. Such acts were caught on the surveillance camera installed at the farm as the evidence.

“List of equipment taken:
• One of two heavy duty exhaust fans, $600
• One used cooler, $100
• 12 beds of bamboo, $1,200
• Small gas tank and one big gas tank, $1,300
• New growing bags, $2,200
• Full set light dep system (new), $28,000
• Gavita LED light 10-set, 350, $3,500
• Four bags of soil, two-yard bags, $1,200
• Some hand tools, $5,000
• 10 set T5 grow light, 10, $50-500
• Total is $43,400"

Gao signed the statement, indicating he wishes to press charges. A representative for Gao’s farm reported that he has begged Reigel to return the items taken but so far, she has refused to do so.
Sheriff Dan Warwick reported Monday that the status of the case has not changed, indicating he is still waiting for the District Attorney to make a decision in the matter.

A tipster has provided surveillance video photos of those involved in the seizure of property from the marijuana farm, located in the Potch LLC acreage. People pictured on the video surveillance, according to identification by the source, were:
-Mayor Patricia Reigel
-Former town clerk Sarah Van Horn
-Town of Moffat Compliance officer Jennifer Thomas
-Town of Moffat Compliance officer Dan Zech
-Disgruntled employee, owner of 714 MPRB, Garegin Pogosyan
-Alleged black-market marijuana Lazy KV Estates grower Ernest Gonzalez

Reigel can clearly be identified in the photos. A town official confirmed last week that Sarah Van Horn has resigned her position with the town. Saguache County Land Use stated Tuesday the County has no jurisdiction over the grow since it is located within the town of Moffat.


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