Port Richey City Manager Tom O'Neill charged with DUI after blood test shows alcohol level four times legal limit

5:39 PM, Aug 29, 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 -- The Port Richey City manager faces DUI charges Thursday night after being pulled over last month.

On the night of July 13, dash-cam video showed Tom O'Neill getting out of his car -- with help -- and attempting to take a field sobriety test but was "too dazed" to do it, according to an officer at the scene.

Instead of being arrested, O'Neill was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The case was then reported as "closed", but after seeing the dash-cam video when the press got a hold of it, the chief of police in New Port Richey re-opened the case.

As 10 News reported back in July, not only did O'Neill's very unsteady appearance in the dash-cam video raise red flags that something was amiss, there were discrepancies that appeared to show favoritism, if not a cover-up.

The first report listed the case as a traffic stop, the final report listed it as a welfare check.

It was then discovered that a friend of O'Neill's, Port Richey Chief of Police Dave Brown, showed up that night after hearing about the incident and told the officer O'Neill was on medication prompting the trip to the hospital instead of jail.

But going to the hospital resulted in blood being taken and while nothing was done with the results of blood work at the time, after the State Attorney's Office viewed the video and the case was re-opened by Chief Bogart, prosecutors requested O'Neill's medical records from the night of the incident.

On Thursday, the test results were made public showing O'Neill had a blood alcohol level of .367, more than four times the legal limit. A DUI citation was also issued today and an arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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