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Prosecutors drop battery charges against Pasco commission chairman

DADE CITY — Prosecutors say they will not pursue the case against Pasco County Commission Chairman Ted Schrader, who was arrested two weeks ago on a charge of domestic battery after an argument with his wife.

Assistant state attorney Manuel Garcia said prosecutors declined to pursue charges after reviewing testimony from Schrader's wife, Julia.

Schrader, 57, said late Wednesday that he was relieved to put the matter behind him.

"I will direct my counsel to take the next step and have this expunged from my record," said Schrader, a citrus grower and real estate investor serving his fourth term on the commission.

Schrader, who had been ordered to have no contact with his wife while the case was pending, said he was now free to visit his property, but that he would be making "some serious decisions" about his future. He and his wife have been married for 30 years and have three adult children.

Schrader said his colleagues at the county had been "very supportive" and he hoped to work hard to regain the respect of "anyone who might have doubts." He said he wrote a letter to Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco to let him know that his deputies and jail staff had treated him respectfully and fairly.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Schrader on Feb. 3, a day after Mrs. Schrader, 56, said he grabbed her arm and leg while she lay in her bed in their San Antonio home. She said the confrontation took place a day after an argument.

A sheriff's report said Schrader admitted that he grabbed his wife's arm to try to talk to her. He issued an apology at the Feb. 5 County Commission meeting in which he called the incident "a personal and private matter" and asked that it be handled accordingly.

Prosecutors drop battery charges against Pasco commission chairman 02/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:50pm]
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