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Panel Will Review Tampa DUI Cases

Panel Will Review Tampa DUI Cases

TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says a special panel has been created to review the department's DUI cases.

The committee will include Assistant Chief John Bennett, retired Hillsborough circuit judge Barbara Fleischer, the attorney general's statewide prosecutor Nick Cox, Chief Dean Register with the FDLE's Inspector General's office and two TPD DUI supervisors.

The group will review all the outstanding cases of Sgt. Ray Fernandez and officer Tim McGinnis and will select other cases at random.

Castor's decision follow's last week's restructuring of the DUI unit, decentralizing that unit so that each police district handles its own DUI cases. 

It's a result of the controversial DUI arrest of Tampa attorney Phil Campbell, whom a special prosecutor later determined was set-up by a rival law firm which had contact with Fernandez.  DUI charges against Campbell have since been dropped.

Campbell's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, has called on Mayor Bob Buckhorn to appoint a special independent investigator to review the Tampa Police Department.  In a statement, Buckhorn says he supports Castor's efforts. 

"These steps can assure the public that the Tampa Police Department handles DUI cases appropriately and that the department will continue to serve our community with the integrity and professionalism that it is recognized for."

Buckhorn also promises "swift and appropriate" action if it's determined there was incompetence or a "gross violation" of the officers involved in Campbell's arrest.



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