Galvano calls for special investigator on Sansom
House Rules Chairman Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, has called for a special investigator to look into a complaint that Speaker Ray Sansom violated House ethics rules calling for a legislator to uphold the respect and responsibility of office.
"Given his role as speaker, it's more prudent to have a special investigator," Galvano told the Times/Herald. His other option was to call for a panel of House members. "It’s a difficult situation. I found it very difficult myself. With a third party, you’re going to get more objectivity." (His letter to Speaker Pro Tem Larry Cretul is here.)
Susan Smith, a Democratic activist from Odessa near Tampa, cited House ethics rules that states legislative office "is a trust to be performed with integrity in the public interest." Galvano said she had personal knowledge because she felt her opinion of Sansom had diminished by his taking a job at his hometown college on the same day he became speaker.
Galvano said he found a second part of the complaint -- that Sansom used his position for personal gain after steering millions to Northwest Florida State College -- insufficient because the citizen based that solely on newspaper reports, not personal knowledge. Smith could refile the complaint with Galvano.