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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ethics Commission drops Sansom complaint against Meggs



The Florida Commission on Ethics has dropped ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom's complaint against Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs. The commission dismissed it without investigation, which happens with about half of all complaints.

"The Commission's reviews for legal sufficiency are limited to questions of jurisdiction and determinations as to whether the charges in the complaint are adequate to allege a violation of the Code of Ethics," the commission said in a release. "As no factual investigation precedes the reviews, the Commission's conclusions do not reflect on the accuracy of the allegations made in these complaints."

Sansom was criminally charged for his role in securing $6 million in state funding for an airport building in Destin that a businessman wanted to use. Meggs dropped the case against Sansom and a co-defendant, developer Jay Odom, mid trial in March, saying he could not continue due to the judge limiting testimony from a key witness. Sansom and Odom each paid $103,000 restitution without admission of guilt.

Sansom's complaint contained six allegations against Meggs, including that he "manipulated" the grand jury process to get indictments and released testimony that was not public. The complaints largely mirrored ones he made to the circuit court, which dismissed his motion while faulting Meggs for some inflammatory comments.

In an order denying the complaint, the Ethics Commission concluded:


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 11:17am]


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