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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democratic Party helped coordinate Sansom complaint



A spokesman for the Democratic Party of Florida helped an activist craft a complaint against Rep. Ray Sansom that led to the House tribunal set to begin Monday. Susan Smith of Odessa apparently acknowledged the connection while being deposed today in Tampa by Sansom's attorney, Gloria Fletcher.

Sansom presumably would seek the use that as evidence of a political witch hunt. We're seeking comment from Fletcher. The response from Democratic spokesman Eric Jotkoff: "Can I be quoted as yawning"?

"I'm not sure it's news that the Democratic Party has been involved in efforts to clean up Republican corruption in Tallahassee. ... Susan and I had discussed our mutual disgust for the alleged massive corruption scheme. I don't recall who talked to who first. It's undeniable that Susan Smith was outraged by what Ray Sansom did and her opinion of the House was diminished."

The problem for Sansom, however, is that House tribunal chairman Rep. Bill Galvano has already ruled on a motion that Smith's motives are not relevant. The House took her complaint, dismissed parts of it, and then hired a special investigator to review Sansom's conduct with Northwest Florida State College. That investigator found probable cause Sansom broke the rules -- forming the basis for the House trail.

"I am proud of my role in helping clean up Republican corruption and holding Sansom accountable," Jotkoff said.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:20pm]


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