TAMPA, Fla. -- The Florida Bar has opened an investigation into one of the attorneys representing accused killer Michael Drejka.
- State attorney announced charge against Drejka earlier this week
- Public defenders complained to sheriff about Clifton
- LINK: Rules regulating the Florida Bar
- PREVIOUS: New attorneys for Michael Drejka address reasons for taking case
- PREVIOUS: Michael Drejka remains jailed on manslaughter charge
The Bar confirmed the investigation is into solicitation claims. The rule says attorneys can't cold call, meet face-to-face or use a third party who isn't a family member to sign them as an attorney.
Clifton, John Trevena and Brent Camareno filed the official paperwork Wednesday afternoon as Drejka’s attorneys.
Spectrum Bay News 9 also learned the public defenders office complained to the sheriff's office because Clifton allegedly went to the jail and signed Drejka on as her client while the public defenders were still legally defending him.
Documents also show that two of the public defenders visited Drejka in jail hours before Clifton did.
Here is a discussion that took place Wednesday between Clifton and Spectrum Bay News 9 reporter Saundra Weathers.
WEATHERS: How did you say you reached out to him again?
CLIFTON: Um, just jail visit.
WEATHERS: You just showed up and he said OK, I’ll sign you?
CLIFTON: We just talked.
Clifton said there was no solicitation.
Why does this matter in a case where a man was shot and killed during an argument about a parking spot?
Clifton is a member of the Florida Bar Association, and they have rules. A lawyer, their employees or anyone else trying to solicit a person on the lawyer's behalf is prohibited -- that also includes phone calls, face-to-face meetings or any other communication.
If an attorney gets a client using any of these tactics, they're in direct violation of these rules.
Drejka has been charged with manslaughter in the July 19 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater convenience store.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said at the time of the shooting was protected under the state's stand your ground law.
But the State Attorney announced the manslaughter charge earlier this week.
Reporter Saundra Weathers contributed to this report.