TAMPA - Twelve Hillsborough County DUI cases have been thrown out, as former Tampa Police Sgt. Ray Fernandez's credibility is still in question.
"Once the evidence itself becomes tainted, then the case falls," said private defense attorney based in Tampa, Tim Taylor.
Fernandez was fired by Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor in recent weeks.
Castor said Fernandez was not truthful and destroyed evidence during the still on-going DUI set-up scandal sparked by the defamation trial of two popular Tampa radio personalities.
The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office said twelve DUI cases where Fernandez made the initial traffic stop will not go to trial. No one was injured in any of the cases dropped.
"I don't think there's a prosecutor in the nation that when a law enforcement officer is terminated for lying and destroying evidence that they're going to put them on the stand as a credible witness," said Taylor. He represents one of the defendants in one of the cases just dropped.
It's not fair," said Rodriguez's attorney, Chip Purcell.
"They're going to drop his homicide cases? We're going to let those defendants go?"
He calls the twelve cases being thrown out "irresponsible."
"He has never testified untruthfully, he's never knowingly destroyed any evidence," Purcell said.
The State Attorney's Office is now reviewing 40 additional DUI and criminal traffic cases involving Fernandez.
"It scares you," said Bay Area driver Doug Long.
"There's a point where you have to get beyond the legal jargon, and get down to what really matters. I think this is one of those situations where you have to get beyond the black and white legal documents and statements and ask, 'What's right?'"
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