December 30, 2008

Sansom watch, December 30

Recent items in the news on Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom and his position at Northwest Florida State College:

  • Sansom hired attorney Richard Coates to represent him in responding to the ethics complaint filed against him.
  • Reporting on the ethics complaint by the Tallahassee Democrat, Tampa Tribune, and Capitol News Service. The only additions to the first wave of reporting appears to be comments yesterday by the complainant (David Plyer, of Clearwater). 
  • State legislators weigh in on Sansom appeared this morning in the Pensacola News Journal. Senator Don Gaetz: "I would leave my house keys and my children with Ray in a minute. I'm troubled by his association with Dr. Richburg, who is someone who's had his problems with his credibility."
  • The Tallahassee Democrat's editorial, Speaking of subterfuge: Give it up, Mr. Sansom, called for the Speaker to resign either from his college job or the Speakership: "Mr. Sansom has already created a terrible legacy for himself, further contaminated legislative credibility with the public, and stained his party's honor. What more can he possibly have in mind?"
  • Speaker's office routinely deletes e-mails: The Miami Herald published an AP report that the Speaker's office said it found no e-mail record of correspondence between Ray Sansom and his business interests: "House Speaker Ray Sansom's office deletes e-mails about its business dealings every month, in part because lawmakers have fewer restrictions on preserving their records than most of state government."
  • Alex Leary reported that Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg talked about a potential veto of construction funds by Governor Charlie Crist, and in a December 22, 2007, e-mail he urged Sansom to be proactive in defending construction funding to the college: "You asked if I had any advise [sic] on the initiative you and the delegation are working on in the west. I'm sure you have thought about the governor and making the project veto safe. If not, that's my advice. He is such a populous [sic] that I could see him stepping in at the last minute and vetoing the work that you and others have done. I guess that goes for our other projects as well."
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Tags: Bob Richburg, Florida legislature, higher education, Ray Sansom, scandal
Posted in Higher education on December 30, 2008 6:20 AM |