PORT RICHEY, Fla. (FOX 13) - New court documents, based on the account of friends and acquaintances, offer a look inside the life of disgraced Port Richey mayor, Dale Massad.
Investigators began looking into Massad back in August after authorities first suspected corruption could be taking place behind closed doors. Several people who claim to be close to Massad were quick to confirm these suspicions.
One man, who lived with the mayor for nearly six months, described excessive drug use. He said the mayor would snort crystal meth before golf outings and smoke crack cocaine nearly every night.
Acquaintances also told investigators Massad would perform surgeries on his kitchen table, stitching up his friends' lacerations and supplying cortisone shots and medicine.
Those reports led authorities to Massad's home in February where they intended to arrest him for practicing medicine without a license. However, as the SWAT team entered his home, Massad opened fire. He was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Weeks later, while still in jail, the former mayor was hit with more charges after a recorded jailhouse phone call with then-acting mayor, Terrence Rowe. Investigators said the two conspired to intimidate an officer involved in the case.
"The phone call is also consistent with just a conversation between friends... he never asked Rowe to do anything inappropriate," stated Bjorn Brunvand, one of Massad's attorneys.
Massad's attorney said the phone call, and most of these claims, aren't what they seem.
"Those witnesses are drug users, and people that he may have been helping out to various degrees, but not to the extent of practicing medicine without a license," said Brunvand.
Massad maintains his innocence. His attorney believes this is nothing more than an attack on Massad's character.
For the slew of charges Massad faces, he has entered a plea of not guilty. He is being held without bond and will go back to court on May 15.