Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio has banned man-about-town and local government critic Michael Kagdis from the four restaurants that she and her family own.
“This sounds like a first amendment issue,” Kagdis said. “They don’t like that I’m critical of the mayor and the police.”
The ban, enforced with the help of photos of Kagdis behind the bars, came days after Gossip Extra published a video and story about a nasty brawl in the women’s bathroom at Cucina Dell’ Arte.
In an interview at the time, general manager Nick Coniglio, Gail’s son, accused Kagdis of releasing the cellphone video of the women rolling on the floor as part of a vendetta against his mother.
Kagdis considered running for mayor against Gail Coniglio this year. He described Palm Beach as a Deadwood-style cowboy town where the mayor owns the saloons. In the end, Kagdis didn’t file candidacy papers.
Kagdis was arrested on drug charges in 2009 and quickly criticized the local fuzz as keystone cops. The identity of the informant who ratted out Kagdis, for instance, got out hours after his arrest. A judge withheld adjudication on a possession charge and sentenced Kagdis to three years probation. Kagdis, who runs the website The Palm Beach Proper, is appealing.
Said Ricca: “I want to handle this matter professionally. I never wanted to have this (the ban) aired out publicly.”