Port Richey city manager Tom O'Neill makes first court appearance; Judge recused from case

PORT RICHEY - Port Richey City Manager Tom O'Neill appeared in court Thursday to face a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge.

But the proceeding didn't get very far.

Judge Marc Salton recused himself from the case stating Salton and O'Neill know one another personally and serve the same organization.  The case has been reassigned to Judge Anne Wansboro.

As the I-Team has reported, O'Neill was found in a red SUV parked in the middle of a residential road on July 13, 2013.  The SUV was idling in neutral

Court documents obtained by ABC Action News show O'Neill had a .367 blood alcohol content level, four times the legal limit.  That level was obtained from a blood draw after O'Neill was taken to a nearby hospital hours later.

On September 5, O'Neill turned in his resignation, but city council ultimately rejected it, and offered him another alternative.

In a 4-1 vote, city council voted to suspend O'Neil for thirty days instead of letting him quit, provided that he get help for substance abuse.

He left that meeting without comment.

Another arraignment hearing is expected to be scheduled within the next month.

O'Neill faces a maximum of 9 months in jail a license suspension if he's convicted.

 

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