A number of DUI’s will be dismissed in Hillsborough County, Florida due to fallout from the former head of the Tampa Police Department DUI division who was fired for his involvement in a notorious Honey Trap that resulted in a lawyer’s arrest. Every pending case involving the former DUI division head where he was listed by the State Attorney’s Office as a possible trial witness will be screened for possible dismissal, while as many as ten DUI cases, some with blood alcohol level evidence of over double the legal limit have already been dismissed. But just looking at pending cases is not nearly enough, even cases in which the Defendant has plead guilty to DUI or lesser charges should be re-examined with Defendants given an opportunity to reopen their cases.
|Badge of Integrity?|
Federal and state investigators are still looking at the actions of everyone involved in the drama of this scandal to determine what charges, if any, should be filed. Yet you, my reader, sitting there drinking your wine by the fireplace or possibly asleep within the relative safety of your home during the original scandal, you need not fear these allegations because they are unlikely to cause the Feds to come knocking at your door, nor even mine, one hopes.
A preliminary investigation by the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office determined that the lawyer who was arrested for a DUI incident to a Honey Trap Set-Up scandal would not be charged. That investigation also revealed that the activities of the Tampa Police Department brought the DUI unit’s integrity into question with the likelihood of destruction of evidence to cover up the role of at least one Hillsborough officer involved in the scandal.
The Pinellas prosecutors should be commended for making the courageous choice of dropping charges against the lawyer, but the prosecutors in Tampa have not gone far enough in dismissing other cases tainted by this scandal.
The integrity of the Florida justice system demands that every case, even those in which the Defendant has already plead guilty, involving the former Tampa Police DUI division head should be re-examined. On motion of the State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County, Defendants should be allowed to withdraw Guilty pleas based on the failure of the Tampa Police Department to insure that DUI cases were handled in a fair and impartial manner.