PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad was in court for a pre-trial hearing Thursday. His trial on obstruction charges begins Monday in Pasco County.
Massad is charged with conspiracy related to a jailhouse phone call he made to Interim Mayor Terrance Rowe.
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Rowe was arrested for his involvement and suspended from his position in the city's government.
During a call on March 3, Massad and Rowe were talking about Port Richey Officer Donald Howard’s involvement in Massad's original case of practicing medicine without a license.
“I don't know why, but he is in on everything,” Massad said in reference to Officer Howard.
“I'm on it,” Rowe answered.
Massad said anything Rowe could do for him would be “good.”
“You know, this doesn't go down without somebody answering for it,” Rowe replied.
The defensed is asking for certain parts of Massad’s calls to be redacted, but Judge Mary Handsel said references to the crimes Massad is accused of trying to obstruct are relevant.
She did agree to redact references to the charges of pre-meditated attempted murder.
Massad’s defense asked for a speedy trial on the obstruction charges in hopes of getting him out of jail on bond.
He arrived in court Thursday wearing a suit and stood for the hearing. A much different look then his last court appearance when he was brought in a wheelchair wearing his jail jump suit.
His trial for the more serious charges involving shooting at deputies could still be many months away.
Deputies were trying to serve an arrest warrant on charges of practicing medicine without a license Feb. 21 when Massad fired his gun.
He claims he did not know it was law enforcement trying to get into his home.