Former Port Richey mayor set to go to trial in June

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Dale Massad, the former mayor of Port Richey, learned in court Friday that he’ll go to trial on two charges in June.

Judge Mary Handsel set a trial date of June 24.

The trial pertains to charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and illegal use of a two-way communication device.

Massad faces a host of other charges and those matters are pending.

In February, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies showed up at his Port Richey home to arrest him for practicing medicine without a license.

They claim the mayor shot at them as they tried to make an arrest.

His attorneys maintain he was simply firing warning shots because he had no idea who was attempting to get into his home in the wee hours of the morning.

Then, while in jail, Massad made a phone call to then-acting mayor Terrence Rowe.

Both men discussed a Port Richey Police Department officer at the center of Massad’s arrest.

“Somebody’s gotta answer for, ah you know, this doesn’t go down without somebody answering for it,” Rowe said.

“Just be careful because they will throw you under the motherf****** bus,” Massad said.

Rowe was arrested and Massad was slapped with additional charges.

Massad’s attorney spoke after court Friday.

“He’s been in jail for three months.  It’s very frustrating, particularly having listened to the phone call.  I think the phone call is clear he’s not asking Mr. Rowe to do anything inappropriate at any time,” Bjorn Brunvand said.

Court documents obtained by 8 On Your Side show that Massad did drugs.  Paperwork explains that Massad and others “liked crystal methamphetamine” which they referred to as “jet fuel.”

In one report, a man told investigators that he would buy Massad crack cocaine “five nights a week.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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