Local attorney disbarred for criminal offenses, ignoring clients.
Ryan Campbell, a Niceville resident practicing law in Fort Walton Beach since 2011, has been ordered disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court.
Campbell, 33, was found to have violated three Florida Bar principles on June 25, 2017 when, while intoxicated, he was charged with stealing a fire extinguisher, obstructing a firefighter, battering a law enforcement officer and committing the crimes of battery and disorderly conduct, a report filed by the Florida Bar states.
Campbell, a former assistant state attorney in the First Judicial Circuit, ran “nearly nude through (the) Hotel Duval,” according to a 2017 report from the Tallahassee Democrat. He ”pulled the fire alarm and sprayed several guests in the face with a fire extinguisher as they left their rooms.“
Campbell worked for the State Attorney's Office from June 2011 to August 2013, the Democrat reported.
The Bar regulations violated were; Misconduct and Minor Misconduct, Criminal Misconduct and Engaging in Criminal Activity, the Florida Bar's Complaint against Campbell said.
The investigation into the potential violation of Florida Bar regulations was initiated after Campbell entered into a pretrial intervention agreement on four of the charges he faced, a Supreme Court news release announcing his punishment said. He was subsequently placed on probation for 18 months.
Campbell was also found to have “failed to diligently pursue two family law matters and one criminal case,” the news release said. “In addition, he failed to communicate with clients, to appear at hearings, to comply with discovery requests and to respond to the Florida Bar.”
In the criminal case, Florida Bar documents state, Campbell's client was jailed longer than he should have been because Campbell failed to communicate with him and missed a court appearance.
Campbell was ordered to pay a total of $5,500 in restitution to the three clients impacted by his inattention to their cases, an order from the Supreme Court, issued Dec. 19, said.
Though Florida Bar officials struggled to make contact with him, records indicate, Campbell did sign a Disbarment on Consent agreement Nov. 13, records show.
On Sept. 6, the same day that the Supreme Court ordered Campbell be suspended from the practice of law, he was arrested by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, and fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, a felony.
The arrest report states Campbell was driving 62 mph in a 40 mile per hour zone and was driving erratically. It said when an officer signaled him to slow down, Campbell “sped up and continued driving carelessly into other occupied lanes of traffic.”
He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 3 on the Okaloosa County charges.
Campbell could not be reached for comment. The phone at his Lewis Turner office had been disconnected and a cell phone listing was also out of service.