The formerly quiet town of Port Richey appears to be facing a crisis. About 20 days ago, the Mayor of Port Richey, 68-year-old Dale Massad, was apprehended after a shootout with SWAT officers. He’s been accused of practicing medicine without having a valid license. The arrest was a shock to the community, and officers called the mayor a “violent drug user” with loaded weapons in his home. Even more shocking, Massad is also being investigated for possible insurance fraud.
In response to the arrest, the vice mayor, Terance Rowe became the acting mayor of the town. The Governor, Ron DeSantis, formerly suspended Massad from office, which allowed Rowe to assume power. Now, Terance Rowe has also been taken into police custody.
The investigation remains active, so not many details have been released. A Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement spoke with media outlets and confirmed how Rowe’s arrest is “related” to Massad’s arrest. He did not elaborate on how the cases are connected.
Many speculate that Rowe was trying to interfere with the police investigation into Massad’s crimes. Rowe’s charges include obstruction of justice, the use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a crime and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.
This recent development isn’t too shocking, as Rowe has publicly criticized the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for raiding Massad’s home. Now, the two former mayors are both behind bars at the Pasco County Jail. It remains unclear how the town will politically recover from the mess they’ve left behind.