Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Port Richey police chief faces no confidence vote

PORT RICHEY — Police Chief Dave Brown is facing mutiny within his ranks from police officers questioning his ability to lead Port Richey's department.

Several complaints from union members against Brown have been received by the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association, leading to a rare "no confidence" vote tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, PBA Director of Operations Jim Diamond said.

Diamond declined to discuss the nature of the complaints but said they make enough of a "compelling case" to warrant the vote. If a majority of Port Richey's 16 police union members vote no confidence, then a letter will be sent to City Manager Tom O'Neill.

If that occurs, it's not a document that binds the city manager to act, according to Diamond. "But it's a pretty good indication that there's problems," he said.

Brown, who was made interim chief in May 2008 and tapped permanently that November, declined to comment at a City Council meeting Tuesday. O'Neill said he could not discuss the complaints against Brown other than to say he is investigating. O'Neill. He added that he will be contacting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for its input.

"I want everything to be done impartially and fairly," O'Neill said.

Both men drew criticism last year when O'Neill was found asleep at the wheel of his SUV late one July night. Dash cam video from a Port Richey police cruiser showed O'Neill being helped to the rear of his vehicle by paramedics. He was unable to stand on his own or perform field sobriety exercises but not arrested. Instead, paramedics took him to a hospital and he was given a ride home later — by Brown.

Prosecutors charged O'Neill with DUI after a hospital blood test showed he had a .367 blood-alcohol level. He pleaded no contest.

Brown said he picked up O'Neill at the hospital to help a friend.

Diamond said Brown's actions that night were not referenced in the complaints from union members. Port Richey Mayor Eloise Taylor said O'Neill made her aware of the complaints against Brown but she expects O'Neill to handle the situation.

"If I see something that is not being done properly, I have a voice and I will use it," she said.

Port Richey police chief faces no confidence vote 04/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun


    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive


    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.