Dressed in a gray polo shirt and jeans, Pasco County Commission Chairman Ted Schrader stood before a video camera at the Land O'Lakes Jail, his hands clasped as the judge read the charge of domestic battery.
In a New Port Richey courtroom 17 miles away, his wife of 30 years asked for him to be barred from staying at their home or contacting her.
"I feel that at this time it might be appropriate for a noncontact (order)," Julia Schrader told the court on Monday afternoon.
County Judge Anne Wansboro granted the request and set Schrader's bail at $250. She also ordered Schrader, 57, to avoid alcohol. He was allowed to go home, accompanied by one sheriff's deputy, to retrieve his belongings.
The surreal scene played out the day after Schrader — a mild-mannered, longtime commissioner with deep roots in east Pasco — was arrested on Super Bowl Sunday at his home in San Antonio.
Julia Schrader, 56, called deputies two days after the couple had argued on Friday, according to the arrest report. What the argument was about was not listed on reports, and Ted Schrader's attorney, Chip Mander, would not comment on it.
Julia Schrader, who sleeps in a separate room from her husband, said her husband walked into her bedroom about 9 a.m. Saturday while she was in bed. She turned onto her side "to avoid a confrontation" and he became upset, grabbed her wrist and leg, and "pulled her toward him against her will," the Pasco County Sheriff's Office report said.
The report indicated that Ted Schrader had been drinking at some point during the incident.
Julia Schrader showed deputies three bruises on her forearm and wrist that were a half-inch in diameter, the report said. She declined medical treatment and counseling, saying she would speak to a personal counselor or friend, the report said.
Ted Schrader, who was sitting on a couch in a television room when deputies arrived about 8 p.m. Sunday, admitted going into his wife's room and grabbing her arm to try to speak to her, the report said.
After Julia Schrader left the courthouse hearing on Monday, she declined to talk to reporters. Her husband declined an interview request Monday morning.
But Mander said he does not believe the case will be pursued, whether it's because Julia Schrader decides to drop it or prosecutors don't think there's enough evidence.
However, Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia said the case would be thoroughly investigated.
"You're talking about a county commissioner charged with a crime," Garcia said. "We'll have to look at the evidence and talk to the victim before a decision to prosecute or not prosecute is made." He said State Attorney Bernie McCabe would also have to sign off on the case.
Mander said he expected Schrader to be at today's County Commission meeting. Schrader earns $81,141 a year as a commissioner.
Retired Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand, who served with Schrader for the 12 years he's been in office, called him a "class act" and the allegations "shocking."
"He's always been a super gentleman," she said, adding that she had attended a Christmas open house the Schraders had hosted several years ago.
Former Dade City Mayor Hutch Brock said Schrader has "always conducted himself in a professional manner." He said he didn't want to comment on the allegations because he wanted to respect the family's privacy.
Schrader, a citrus grower and real estate investor, won a fourth term on the commission last year in a three-person GOP primary that included fellow citrus grower Ron Oakley and graduate student and Republican activist Rachel O'Connor.
Previously, he served on the San Antonio City Commission for six years. He is on the board of the Pasco Farm Bureau. He has served on the board of Tampa Bay Water since 2000 and serves as the commission's liaison to the Pasco County Economic Development Council. He and his wife have three children.
Times staff writer Alex Orlando contributed to this report.