Police Chief says he'll make changes after City Manager Tom O'Neil is charged with drunk driving

Finger pointing and division after DUI charges

NEW PORT RICHEY - New Port Richey's police chief says his department is changing how it handles certain DUI stops following an incident with Port Richey's City Manager Tom O'Neil.

In Port Richey, the Police Chief who showed up on scene that night isn't commenting on the fact his presence may have influenced the officer's actions.

Police now confirm O'Neill consumed some of the liquor that shot his blood alcohol to four times the legal limit at Fitzgerald's Irish Pub.

O'Neil was found passed out behind the wheel of his idling car less than a mile and a half from the bar and just two blocks from his house.

New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart blames unique circumstances for the fact his officer failed to follow through with a DUI charge after paramedics suggested O'Neill could have had a stroke and took him to the hospital.

New Port Richey's chief pointed a finger at his Port Richey counter part.

Chief Dave Brown showed up on scene that night and spoke with paramedics and Cpl. Will Phillips.

Last month the I-Team spotted Chief Brown on the dash cam video and asked him about his appearance on scene that night.

He told us on camera he was concerned for his close friend and boss.

Chief Brown was at the office this morning but has yet to return our repeated calls. 

Next door at city hall council leaders are divided over whether to make O'Neill's drunk driving charge a public issue.

Councilman Steve O'Neill told me by phone he would second councilman Terrance Rowe's call for a special session but he's the only one.

That's not enough for Rowe who feels the city manager should take administrative leave until the case is resolved.

 

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