Jay Odom employee ensured 'largest' plane would fit in college building
With an FBI agent nearby, an employee of developer Jay Odom told a state investigator that he worked with an architect to ensure the "largest" airplane could fit inside a building at Destin Airport being built by Northwest Florida State College.
"Was that because it was your understanding that some of the Destin Jet business would be conducted inside of the building?" investigator Jim Anderson asked.
"Yes," replied the employee, Jason Carter.
The Aug. 26 interview, released Tuesday as part of the discovery in the criminal case against ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom, underscores what others connected to the project have said in recent sworn testimony.
Odom initially denied he had any plans to use the college building, but in court papers his lawyer acknowledges that was the case, but said Odom had every right to seek a lease with the college.
Odom has been indicted along with Sansom and ex-college president Bob Richburg. The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 29, though defense attorneys Wednesday will seek to have the case dismissed.
Carter said Odom's company was asked by architect Jim Dowling about what type of activities would go on in the college building and suggested the plan was for some aircraft storage along with maintenance and repair.
Anderson asked Carter about a Dec. 4, 2008, e-mail Dowling sent the college confirming that the "user" of the 15,000-square-foot staging area inside the college building would store "multiple aircraft" there.
Carter said he wasn't sure who the "user" was, but when Anderson asked followup questions, he indicated it was Destin Jet. "My memory of our conversation," Carter said of Dowling, "was that there would be the possibility that multiple aircraft could be stored there."
The FBI has been sitting in on some of the interviews, collecting its own string for an investigation of some sort. The agent questioned Carter before the audio recording was made.
Listen to the audio here.