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Port Richey Police Officer's Arrest Last Straw, Prompts PBA's Vote of No Confidence in Chief

PORT RICHEY – Trouble is brewing for the Port Richey Chief of Police after the West Central Florida Police Benevolence Association passed down a vote of no confidence.

Sources say the recent arrest of Port Richey Police Officer Catey Caramiello is the last straw in what led to the PBA's vote of no confidence in Chief Cyrus Robinson and Captain Michael Koch earlier this month.

Left, Officer Catey Caramiello, Right, Chief Cyrus Robinson

Caramiello was arrested for Domestic Battery on February 12, 2024, after she got into a physical altercation with her estranged wife at their residence. Caramiello denied attacking her ex-wife, but according to an arrest affidavit with the Pasco Sheriff's Office, Ring doorbell video supports the alleged victim's claims. Fellow Port Richey Police Officer Jennifer Perez posted Caramiello's $1,000 bond, according to court records.

Sources who requested to remain anonymous say it is a double standard that Chief Robinson chose not to terminate Caramiello after her arrest and instead placed her on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the criminal case. They say if it was anyone else – especially a male officer – they would have been immediately fired.

Chief Robinson worked as a Major under Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis and sources say he brought Caramiello and Perez with him to Port Richey after leaving HCSO in 2020. Caramiello worked as a Detention Deputy in Hernando County prior to joining the Port Richey Police Department.

A current Pasco Sheriff's Deputy who did not want to be identified said "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This is a product of Sheriff Nienhuis's poor leadership. We don't want that in Pasco County."

The PBA vote sends a message to Port Richey City officials who will ultimately decide if Robinson and Captain Michael Koch will still have a job in the coming weeks. If Robinson is removed, an interim Chief will be chosen until an election can be held.


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