Sunday, July 22, 2018
News Roundup

Florida Bar files complaints against lawyers in Tampa DUI scandal

The Florida Bar has filed formal complaints with the state supreme court against three Tampa lawyers accused of setting up opposing counsel for a DUI arrest in a notorious legal scandal.

The agency that governs lawyers has accused Robert Adams, Stephen Diaco and Adam Filthaut of Tampa's Adams & Diaco firm of various violations of Florida Bar rules.

All three face charges of misconduct, unfairness to opposing counsel and disrupting court. If they are found guilty, punishment can range from admonishment to suspension or disbarment.

The simmering legal scandal centers on a bitter defamation trial between warring radio shock jocks Todd Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

In January 2013 after a day in court, attorney C. Philip Campbell, who represented Schnitt, sat in an upscale steakhouse bar downtown. A young paralegal from the Adams & Diaco firm took the stool next to him, lied about where she worked, flirted and drank with him, according to witnesses. Campbell was later arrested for DUI while driving her in her car.

Then came the revelation of multiple cellphone calls and texts that flew that night between the paralegal in the bar, her bosses and a Tampa police DUI sergeant outside Malio's Prime Steakhouse.

Assigned the DUI case, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe's office dropped the charge and issued a blistering report calling the paralegal "undercover" and using the words "collaboration" and "organized effort" regarding the arrest. Adams & Diaco lawyers contended they were only helping to get a drunken driver off the streets, the report said, but they put considerable "time, effort and subterfuge" into getting him on the streets.

In other fallout, Tampa DUI Sgt. Ray Fernandez — a close family friend of attorney Filthaut, who tipped him about Campbell that night — was fired after Chief Jane Castor said he "lost his impartiality and professionalism" in this case.

As the Bar moves forward against the three lawyers, an FBI investigation of the matter remains ongoing.

Comments
Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

ST. PETERSBURG — To get a sense of how things are going for the Rays right now, consider that opening day starter Chris Archer was wearing a promotional DJ Kitty head in the dugout and veteran OF Carlos Gomez was playing second base during Satu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

ST. PETERSBURG — This season has been quite a pain for Rays centerfielder and centerpiece Kevin Kiermaier.A cold bat, a nagging illness, a searing foul ball we'll come back to shortly and a torn thumb ligament that required surgery, all in the ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rowdies gain needed victory

Rowdies gain needed victory

ST. PETERSBURG — Georgi Hristov, the Rowdies' all-time goals leader, extended that mark with his 59th and Junior Flemmings had a goal and two assists to lead a revamped lineup in Saturday's 3-1 win over Indy Eleven at Al Lang Stadium in front o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Joey Wendle continues to impress, playing anywhere asked and hitting everywhere. Friday he joined the play-of-the-year race with an amazing glove flip to first. Saturday he was the first Ray with a decent swing off Pablo Lopez, homering in the fourth...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

WASHINGTON — There was a lot of talk specific to the Rays at the All-Star Game last week, from commissioner Rob Manfred's strong endorsement of the Ybor stadium plan to Wilson Ramos' rousing ovation from the Washington fans to Blake Snell's imp...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome did not make the cut in her first PGA Tour event, but she did improve by seven shots in her second round.Lincicome shot 1-under 71 on Saturday at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky., after having to wait an e...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

ST. PETERSBURG – To get a sense of how shorthanded the Rays were by the final innings of Saturday night's game, all you had to do was look at the field and see Carlos Gomez playing second base.It was that kind of night for the Rays, who lost an...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco Sheriff’s Office releases names of two killed in apparent murder-suicide Saturday

Pasco Sheriff’s Office releases names of two killed in apparent murder-suicide Saturday

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of two people killed in an apparent murder-suicide Saturday.At about 1 p.m. Saturday, Alisa Medovich, 23, of Holiday, was shot and killed by Mario Medina, 43, of New Port Richey, who then shot ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs’ Mike Evans donates $11,000 to family of shooting victim

Bucs’ Mike Evans donates $11,000 to family of shooting victim

Turns out Donald Trump wasn't the only person that Bucs receiver Mike Evans reached out to on Twitter on Saturday.The Bucs receiver fired back at the president after a tweet suggesting that NFL players who protest during the national anthem should be...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police are looking for a motorist who they say killed a man in an early Saturday morning hit and run.About 2 a.m. Saturday, a 38-year-old man was hit by a car travelling east on the 3600 block of E Columbus Dr. in Tampa, according to a Tampa Po...
Updated: 10 hours ago