Mitch Perry Report 7.30.13 - Rogue cop hurts TPD's reputation

Both the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times lead today with the 24-page report produced by the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office regarding the setup of attorney Phillip Campbell, who was defending Todd Schnitt  in his trial against fellow radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge.

Campbell was busted with a DUI by Tampa Police Department Sergeant Raymond Fernandez, who was in cahoots with Bubba's attorneys in setting up Campbell. Fernandez is also the same Tampa officer involved in hauling in another Tampa man — Cuba advocate Al Fox — for a DUI, despite the fact that his blood alcohol level was at 0.00!

According to the Tribune, Fernandez was "not available for comment." My question is, how does this guy still have a job?

The bottom line is that Campbell's DUI charge has been thrown out, and the Trib says the FBI is now investigating the case.

For months, TPD Chief Jane Castor has defended Fernandez throughout this embarrassment. Now, after this stinging report, the chief admitted that Fernandez "utilized bad judgement." 

Uh, yeah...

Look, the TPD has justifiably been praised by the mayor and other leaders for its consistent ability to reduce crime in Tampa throughout the years, but obviously they're not infallible. Fernandez may or may not be the only rogue cop in this large department, but he's becoming better known than the hundreds of other cops who do a great job everyday. 

Moving on. Tampa has been falling seriously behind when it comes to bringing film and television productions to the region. Hopefully that will change with the hiring of Dale Gordon to head the Tampa/Hillsborough Film Commission.

We're five weeks away from the St. Pete mayoral election, and it's still unclear who will make the runoff. Two new political action committees have recently formed against Kathleen Ford, however, putting the pressure on her when the debate schedule resumes in the next week.

And the Heritage Foundation's Jim DeMint comes to Tampa next month to bash ObamaCare and probably everything else on the president's agenda.

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