Video shows attorney, paralegal before arrest - WFLA News Channel 8

Video shows attorney, paralegal before arrest

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Image from the DUI arrest footage Image from the DUI arrest footage

It was dark and about 9:45 p.m. when attorney Phil Campbell and paralegal Melissa Personius showed up in the valet area of Malio's restaurant, where they'd been for several hours.

In newly released video from the state attorney appointed to investigate Campbell's DUI charge, the two figures are seen getting into the paralegal's gray Nissan – with Campbell driving.

Campbell's colleagues have long insisted the attorney – who was in the midst of a high-profile trial between two Tampa radio rivals – was set up that night.

The paralegal who sat next to Campbell at the restaurant and whose car he was driving works for the law firm Campbell was up against in that trial.

The video is among documents and evidence obtained by News Channel 8 following the announcement by Sate Attorney Bernie McCabe that he will drop the DUI charge against Campbell.

In the video, a valet driver is seen bringing Personius' car into view. That driver later testified that Personius appeared intoxicated and Campbell did not. He said the pair was discussing whether to move the car somewhere else so Personius could get a ride home.

In her testimony, Personius says she was going to move her car but Campbell offered to do it.

Cell phone records assembled by McCabe's office show a flurry of texts and emails that night between Personius and other attorneys, and between one particular attorney and his good friend Tampa Police Sgt. Raymond Fernandez, who supervised the DUI squad.

Fernandez describes the communication he had that night with his friend Adam Filthaut, an attorney with the Adams & Diaco firm where paralegal Personius worked. He said Filthaut told him Campbell was at Malio's drinking and would probably drive home.

In an interview with representatives from the State Attorney's Office, Campbell said he had planned to walk home to his apartment, several blocks from the restaurant, according to documents.

In his testimony, Fernandez said he got updates from Filthaut, but didn't know where the information was coming from.

"I got communications pretty consistently, you know?" Fernandez said. "I mean, it might be three or four minutes, five minutes. Some of them were just frequently banter, us joking around. Some of it was specific. Like, you know, 'hey he's with the girls, and he's buying a whole 'nother round of drinks,' or 'hey, he's leaving."

Fernandez said his friend also told him later told him Campbell may be driving a silver or gray Nissan.

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