Port Richey city manager Tom O'Neill punished for DUI charges

11:30 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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Dash Cam video of Port Richey's City Manager, Tom O'Neill, caused the New Port Richey Chief of Police to re-open the case from the night he was possibly intoxicated behind the wheel, but not issued a DUI.



Port Richey, Florida - During a special session, the Port Richey City Council handed down its punishment for the city manager who has been charged with a DUI.

"We as a city will not tolerate the embarrassment that the city has gone through," said Councilman Terrance Rowe.

He wanted to see Tom O'Neill, who was caught on a police dash camera reportedly unable to perform a field sobriety test on July 13, fired.

The incident caused embarrassment to the small city because O'Neill was never charged until the video was released to the public.

At the time of the incident, O'Neill claimed he suffered from a medical condition.

The state attorney did file charges after ordering his medical records, which showed that O'Neill had a blood alcohol level of 0.367, four times the limit in Florida of 0.08.

"We should hold him if not as you said to a higher standard," said councilman Rowe.

O'Neill offered his resignation during the Wednesday night special session, but a majority of council decided instead to give him 30 days of unpaid leave and urged substance abuse counseling.

But here's what rubbing some the wrong way: O'Neill won't have to serve his leave until November 4, because the city is smack-dab in the middle of the budget season.

"To not have a city manager in the chair during a very important time period is a stress on the city," said Port Richey vice mayor Bill Colombo.

After the meeting was over, O'Neill left without commenting on the city council's actions.

The city manager's troubles are not over.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the DUI charges on Sept. 12. 

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