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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Fired DUI sergeant’s appeal denied by Tampa police

Tampa Police Department on Friday denied former police officer Ray Fernandez’s appeal to get his job back.

“After consideration of the information presented at the hearing and subsequent review, it is determined that the discipline administered was appropriate,” according to the police department’s grievance response letter.

The hearing was held on Oct. 29 where Fernandez and his representatives stated their case, according to the grievance response letter.

Fernandez, who was a DUI sergeant, was asking to be reinstated to his $92,000-a-year job and receive back pay.

He can now appeal to the human resources director. If he loses at that level, he can appeal to an arbitrator.

Fernandez was fired on Sept. 27 for lack of truthfulness, misuse of authority and failure to meet the department’s standards of conduct, professional responsibility and philosophy of enforcement.

He was dismissed after an investigation into the events leading to the Jan. 23 arrest of lawyer Philip Campbell, who was in the middle of a high-profile defamation trial between dueling radio hosts “MJ” Todd Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

The case against Campbell was later dropped when it was revealed the arrest happened after Fernandez received a tip from attorney Adam Filthaut, a close friend of Fernandez who worked for the law firm on the other side of the defamation case.

Campbell was arrested after drinking at Malio’s steakhouse in downtown Tampa with a paralegal for the Adams and Diaco law firm that also employed Filthaut. Campbell was arrested and charged with DUI after he was stopped in the paralegal’s car, which she had asked him to move for her.

Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe later reviewed the case and dropped the charges after concluding Campbell was set up.

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