Charles Philip Campbell's 2013 mug shot for his DUI arrest
TAMPA, Florida -- Lies, selective memory loss, and a tawdry attempt to frame an attorney involved in the Bubba the Love Sponge vs. MJ shock jail trial for DUI -- new documents and a report released by the Pinellas State attorney appear to cast doubt on the truthfulness of some of the legal team. As the 10 News Investigators have discovered, lost text messages appear to be at the center of the deception.
While text messages are at the center of this case, and the Pinellas state attorney's office issued subpoenas for all the texts, they were erased by the phone company. Those from the law firm defending the Bubba the Love Sponge say they don't have them and Tampa DUI Sgt. Ray Fernandez not only admits he erased the 92 text messages he exchanged about the incident, Tampa police have confirmed he is the one that lied to police chief Jane Castor by saying only a few were exchanged.
Castor said, "There is no indication that any DUI officer has done anything inappropriate."
That would be nice if it was true, but Tampa police confirmed Monday that Sgt. Ray Fernandez, in what looks like a "CYA" move to many, flat out lied about the number of texts exchanged the night attorney Phil Campbell was arrested for DUI. Fernandez told the chief only a few texts were exchanged between him and his child's godfather, an attorney in the firm opposing Campbell in the shock jock trial. However, in reality, it was 92 text messages.
Castor said, "We have to wait until this investigation is completed to draw logical conclusions from it."
The logical conclusion is that those involved in what the Pinellas state attorney said was a set up of Campbell have selective memory about the night he was arrested. Legal assistant Melissa Personius, who got Campbell to drive her car, can remember what he was drinking at Malio's that night, but can't remember any of the 43 texts and phone calls she had with attorneys in her law firm that same night.
Meanwhile, the attorneys are either taking the Fifth or refuse to testify about the incident.
John Fitzgibbons, who is Campbell's attorney, said, "My strong personal feeling is when this case is done some people should no longer have lawyer after their name."
Fitzgibbons, who wants the attorneys involved disbarred and Sgt. Fernandez punished, points out documents released by the Pinellas state attorney show Fernandez was tracking Campbell for more than a month after receiving a message from his close friend, who alleged Campbell "gets drunk all the times goes to Malio's and drives home."
Fitzgibbons said, "There shouldn't be any doubt after reading his investigation this thing stinks."
While many close to the case believe those involved are lying about their selective memory, there are no laws to punish them. However, if the Justice Department goes ahead and files a civil rights violation for attempting to set up Campbell, there could be swift and painful punishment for those involved.