Acting mayor accused of conspiring with ex-mayor, arrested

Police arrest Port Richey mayor for trying to influence an investigation related to the previous mayor's arrest last month. (CNN Newsource)

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says a former Florida mayor conspired with the city's acting mayor to intimidate a police officer who was involved in arresting him on attempted murder charges last month.

The agency found that ex-Port Richey mayor Dale Massad discussed the police officer with acting Mayor Terrance Rowe on March 3, using a recorded jail phone.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Massad told Rowe the officer "is in on everything," to which Rowe responded, "I'm on it." When Massad said that anything Rowe could do would be "good" Rowe replied, "this doesn't go down without somebody answering for it."

Rowe was arrested Wednesday on charges of obstructing justice. Massad was charged in February for practicing medicine without a license and shooting at deputies trying to arrest him.

The city council is consulting with lawyers about what to do next.

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