PORT RICHEY, Fla. — New developments in an I-Team investigation involving police activity at a local mayor's house.
Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad and his longtime girlfriend Caj Joseph were arrested last night on domestic violence charges.
The I-Team has been looking into issues at the mayor's house for months.
Massad was arrested after deputies say he grabbed Joseph and pushed her to the ground.
He was charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, which required that he had to spend the night in jail before his first court hearing Friday.
In July, we reported police have been to Massad's house four dozen times, but he had never been charged with a crime.
At the time, he blamed police activity on his girlfriends.
“You look in there, see if I made any calls,” he said, pointing to police reports we received under the Florida Open Records Law.
Joseph, who was arrested Thursday for felony battery of a person over the age of 65, had been charged half-a-dozen other times for battery, violating protection orders and other crimes allegedly committed at Massad's home.
“I'm a felon and I went back there and I don't want to be there,” Joseph told the judge.
She also said she was unable to post a $500 bond to get out of jail.
“I don't know how to get out of here. I don't have anyone I know. He's not gonna get me out,” Joseph said.
Port Richey's city manager instructed the Pasco Sheriff's Office to investigate the case.
We were unable to reach him for comment.
Massad and Joseph were ordered not to have any contact with each other after they're released on bond.
Massad denied the allegations and said he plans to plead "not guilty".
A misdemeanor conviction would not affect his ability to serve in elected office.
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