Testimony at DUI setup trial brought up allegations of spouse abuse, affairs

Testimony at DUI setup trial brought up allegations of spouse abuse, affairs (Image 1)

There were allegations of drinking, flirting, extramarital affairs and spouse abuse.

This isn’t a description of a Jerry Springer episode, it’s what happened in a Pinellas County courtroom Thursday during a lawyer misconduct hearing. Attorneys Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut are accused of setting up rival lawyer Phil Campbell for a DUI arrest during a high profile trial.

Thursday, Melissa Personius’s ex-husband took the witness stand to testify. Melissa Personius worked in the Adams and Diaco law firm.

Kris Personius claimed his wife came home drunk on the night in 2013 when Phil Campbell was arrested. During testimony, he charged that his ex-wife was told to set up Campbell by her boss, Robert Adams. “She was instructed to basically set this guy up,” Kris Personius said.

That night Melissa Personius saw Phil Campbell at a bar in Tampa and bought him drinks. “She was to stay there and kind of spy and make sure he drinks more,” her ex said.

The defense contends the ex-husband is making the story up to get back at Melissa Personius. Defense lawyer Greg Kehoe asked Personius if he became angry with his wife when he found out she was having an affair with a lawyer in the firm.

Kris Personius then testified about an affair he claims Robert Adams was having in the law office. The testimony became so tense between Personius and Kehoe, another defense lawyer later said, ” Let’s bring the temperature down.”

The three lawyers involved could lose their licenses to practice law in Florida, depending on the outcome of the proceedings.

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