Article Courtesy of The
Tampa Bay Times
By McKenna Oxenden
Published March 26, 2019
PORT RICHEY - Another mayor is behind bars.
This time it's acting mayor Terrence Rowe, 64, who was arrested
Wednesday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on charges of
obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice and
use of a two-way communication device to facilitate the commission of a
Rowe was the second
mayor in this town to be arrested in 20 days. He was vice
mayor until the Feb. 21 arrest of Mayor Dale Massad, 68, who
is accused of firing at a Pasco sheriff's SWAT team that was
arresting him on allegations that he was practicing medicine
without a license in his home.
Rowe has since been released from the Pasco County Jail
after posting $15,000 bail.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said afterward that Massad was
"lucky he's not dead." The sheriff called Massad a violent
drug user who kept weapons in his home. Massad also had
several prior run-ins with law enforcement and lost his
medical license in 1992 over the death of a 3-year-old
After his arrest, the state's chief financial officer
announced that he was also under investigation possible
insurance fraud. Gov. Ron DeSantis also suspended him from
office, which is why Rowe was acting mayor.
Agents said the
allegations against Rowe are tied to the allegations against
Massad case, but did not say how.
Port Richey acting mayor Terrence Rowe, 64, was
arrested March 13, 2019, by Florida Department of Law Enforcement
"It's related but it's an off-shoot," said Special Agent in Charge Mark
Brutnell, of FDLE's Tampa office, about the connection. "From
information we received, (Rowe) was conspiring to inject himself into an
active criminal investigation."
Earlier this month, at his first City Council meeting as acting mayor,
Rowe praised Massad's past service and criticized the Pasco County
Sheriff's Office for the way it raided Massad's home.
Massad was "not a perfect model," Rowe said, but had worked hard for
residents. He said Massad had also helped his own political career.
"It's unfortunate, it's tragic, and I will miss his counsel," Rowe said.
Rowe was to set to be booked into the Pasco County jail, where his bail
will be set at $15,000, Brutnell said.
There he'll join Massad, who faces five counts of attempted murder, four
counts of practicing medicine without a license and two counts of
unlawful use of a two-way communication device. Massad is being held
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's office will prosecute Rowe.
Brutnell said both the Rowe and Massad cases are "very active
investigations" with "lots of moving pieces."