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Port Richey residents upset both former and current mayors are caught up in legal issues

Former mayor Dale Massad is accused of shooting at deputies in a standoff in February. His successor is charged with obstruction of justice.
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PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A tale of two mayors is playing out in Pasco County court. The city of Port Richey is reeling, now that its current and former mayor are caught up in legal trouble.

Former mayor Dale Massad appeared in front of a judge Thursday to face an obstruction of justice charge.

Previous: Jailed former Port Richey mayor accused of trying to retaliate against a witness

His successor, Mayor Terrence Rowe, is facing the same charge. Rowe took over as acting mayor after Massad accused of illegally practicing medicine out of his home and shooting at deputies in a standoff.

The new obstruction charges stem from a phone call Massad placed to Rowe from jail.

“You're in charge. People look up to you,” Port Richey resident Michele Quinn said. “What does that say to everybody else? That it's okay to do these kinds of things? No, it's not.” 

City Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell wants to restore faith in this city government in shambles.

“We will survive this black eye just like we've survived the ones in the past,” Sorrell said.

However, she admits even she doesn't know what's next. There's a special election in June to replace Massad, but no word yet on whether the acting mayor will resign or be removed from his post before then, potentially leaving two open positions.

“Need to get some people in there that care,” Quinn said.

We reached out to the governor's office to see if he had plans to suspend Rowe like he did Massad. We're still waiting to hear back.

In court today, the judge denied bond for Massad, which means he'll stay in jail. The acting mayor bonded out.

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