Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has suspended the mayor of Port Richey, Fla., after he was arrested Friday on charges of practicing medicine without a license in addition to charges of attempted homicide for allegedly shooting at officers who came to arrest him.
DeSantis suspended Mayor Dale Massad in an executive order issued Friday afternoon.
“Dale Glen Massad is clearly unfit to continue serving as Mayor for the City of Port Richey,” a statement from the governor’s office reads. “It is in the best interest of the residents of the City of Port Richey and citizens of the state of Florida that Dale Glen Massad be immediately suspended from public office.”
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday that Massad fired two shots at officers when a SWAT team arrived to serve him a warrant at his house.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Massad was arrested on charges of practicing medicine without a valid license after his expired in 1992. Massad is accused of continuing to practice medicine out of his home, sometimes putting patients at risk.
Massad is facing additional charges of attempted murder after allegedly shooting at the SWAT team, Nocco said. No SWAT team members were injured during the reported exchange of gunfire.
Nocco said Massad is “lucky he’s not dead” as deputies chose not to return fire, and Massad eventually exited his house peacefully.
According to local Fox News affiliate Fox 13 News, Massad was previously arrested in August on domestic battery charges involving his girlfriend at the time. Those charges were later dropped.
Fox 13 News reported that a judge agreed on Friday that there was probable cause to keep Massad in jail without bond.
Massad was elected mayor in 2015 special election.