Tampa, FL- The DUI hearing for Tampa attorney Charles Campbell was supposed to be routine, simply scheduled to determine if he was going to lose his license for refusing to submit to a breath test, but testimony proved to be anything but routine.
Campbell is the attorney representing Tampa shock jock Todd ‘MJ’ Schnitt, and is embroiled in a combative defamation lawsuit with rival DJ Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem. But it seems as though the contentiousness spilled out off the court house and into a local Tampa bar.
Campbell alleged that his DUI arrest stemmed from a “honey trap” involving a young and attractive intern, Melissa Personius, who was working for the law firm representing Bubba Clem. Campbell was unaware that Personius was working for his rival firm Adams & Diaco, when she bought him drink after drink at a bar this past January
Personius admitted that she lied to Campbell, refusing to admit that she worked for Adams & Diaco. In the initial January court hearing, Campbell’s co-counsel in the defamation case said, “She bought him drinks, she specifically, we believe, asked him to move her car and we believe she or had someone else call Tampa police to have Mr. Campbell pulled over.”
John Fitzgibbons the attorney representing is working hard to prove Campbell’s arrest was illegal and in bad faith.
Not only was Campbell unaware that the young woman was lying to him but he was also unaware that a veteran DUI task force officer was sitting outside armed with a picture of him just waiting for the attorney to leave the bar.
Sgt. Ray Fernandez, Campbell’s arresting officer, testified that his friend of 15 years Adam Filthaut called him on his personal cell phone alerting Fernandez that “a gentleman by the name of Mr. Campbell” who drinks heavily and drives home drunk was at Malio’s Prime Steak House, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Campbell was arrested for DUI driving Personious’s car upon her urging.
Fernandez also testified that Filthaut had called a month earlier about Campbell drinking at that particular location, and that his own knowledge of Campbell was “absolutely zero,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The veteran officer who was also voted MADD’s DUI officer of the year testified that Filthaut kept in contact with him via the phone throughout the duration of the stake out, giving him updates, such as, “Oh, I think he’s going to be leaving; no, he’s decided to buy another round of drinks for everybody.’ I mean, just back and forth.”
Filthaut even gave officers a description of Peronius’s car to officers. But Fernandez couldn’t tell the court if Filthaut was actually in the bar or was being given the information by another party.
Filthaut’s behavior sent up red flags, getting the attention of the FBI, the Florida Bar and the launching an internal investigation by the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office.
What should have been a routine DUI hearing turned into an unusual case of sexual entrapment and conspiracy. Only in Florida.