Case against developer is dropped
Prosecutors have dropped charges in a domestic violence case against Wiregrass Ranch developer J.D. Porter. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal mischief and domestic battery on July 4 after deputies say he got into a physical argument with his girlfriend, Maridy Gregory, 30. She is the sister-in-law of Sheriff Chris Nocco. Prosecutors dropped the case on Aug. 1. "The victim came in and was adamant she did not want to press charges," said Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia. According to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrest report, Porter, 33, and Gregory got into a fight after she found a text message from another woman on his phone. During the argument, the report said, he spit tobacco juice on her and set fire to a pile of her clothes in the driveway. Gregory also told deputies that Porter broke the rear window of her Mercedes with a barrel, causing an estimated $1,500 in damage. In a sworn statement to prosecutors, Gregory said Porter paid to repair the window. He could not be reached for comment Friday. The Porter family owns the Wiregrass Ranch development that is the site of the Shops at Wiregrass and the new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. It is also the site of the planned expansion of Raymond James Financial and a planned campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College. County officials are also negotiating the final terms of an agreement for a major sports complex in the development.
New Port Richey
GOP letter offers support for Fasano
State Sen. Mike Fasano released a letter of support from 10 prominent Republicans on Friday. He has been engaged in a public dispute with GOP state committeeman Bill Bunting, who questions his party loyalty. The brief letter says: "We the undersigned express our complete support for lifelong Republican state senator, and soon-to-be state representative, Mike Fasano. As a Republican he has served our community well at home and in Tallahassee during his past 18 years as a state legislator." The letter is signed by House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, Rep. Richard Corcoran, Sen.-elect John Legg, Sheriff Chris Nocco, clerk of courts Paula O'Neil, county Commissioners Ann Hildebrand and Pat Mulieri, GOP committeewoman-elect Sandy Graves, Senate candidate Wilton Simpson and Kurt Browning, the schools superintendent candidate who faces only write-in opposition on the November ballot.
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