GOP’r Arrested After Conspiring With Former Official

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The cable television series World’s Dumbest Criminals could easily create a spin-off show called World’s Dumbest Criminals Currently Serving in Public Office. The story of two mayors in Port Richey, Florida would be the entire first episode.

Florida Mayor Terrence Rowe has been arrested for conspiring with the mayor he replaced, Dale Massad, to target the police officer who investigated Massad. They plotted their crime over, of all things, the jail’s phone line, which is recorded and monitored.

According to the Tampa Bay Times:

‘Massad was arrested Feb. 21 on charges of practicing medicine without a license and attempted murder. Rowe took over as mayor, and on Wednesday became the second Port Richey mayor to be arrested in 20 days. He faces charges that include obstruction of justice.’

Police raided Massad’s home during an investigation into his practice of medicine without a license after sending an undercover officer to him seeking knee surgery. During the raid, Massad fired on police officers, leading to even more charges. While in jail, Massad and Rowe discussed one of the officers involved in the investigation, and Rowe assured Massad that he was “on it” in regards to that officer’s involvement.

When Massad told Rowe that anything he did for him would be good, Rowe answered, “you know, this doesn’t go down without somebody answering for it.” The conversation was recorded over the jail’s monitoring systems.

‘Rowe faces charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and using a two-way communication device as part of a crime. He was freed from jail after posting $15,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment by phone Thursday. No one answered the door at his home.’

Rowe was then arrested and joined the mayor he replaced on Florida’s criminal rolls. A judge had little sympathy for Massad when he answered the charges in court, saying the recorded phone call could be interpreted no other way than as an attempt to obstruct justice.

‘Massad’s house was raided after state agents said they received a tip that he was practicing medicine without a license. Records show an undercover operation was set up for Massad to treat someone feigning a knee injury. The officer, who authorities have not identified, was allegedly treated by Massad.’

While Rowe posted bail and is now awaiting further criminal prosecution in court, Massad is being held without bail. Apparently, the judge wasn’t willing to let him return to his home to plot further action against the police or anyone else involved in the investigation.

‘The state said the new charge of conspiracy resulting from the jailhouse phone call incident is why he should remain held without bail, and Handsel agreed. Massad shook his head and grimaced as she ruled against him.’

Featured image via Flickr by Brandon Anderson under a Creative Commons license