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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Judge rules favorably on Sansom motion



State Attorney Willie Meggs has until next Friday to lay out the case leading to the indictment of Rep. Ray Sansom, Bob Richburg and Jay Odom.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis has ruled in favor of a motion by defense attorneys that Meggs provide a statement, or bill, of "particulars." (background here) "We're very pleased," said Sansom attorney Steve Dobson. "We genuinely want to know what our clients have done that is illegal."

Sansom, Richburg and Odom have been charged with felony official misconduct for allegedly scheming to get $6 million in taxpayer money for a building Odom planned to store aircraft in at Destin Airport.

A grand jury based the charges on, among other things, a 2006 budget document that implies the money was for a college training and emergency response facility only. The final document omitted that the building would be at Destin Airport. (more on that here) But Dobson says that is not proof enough. "How on earth do you falsify the general appropriations act?" he asked.

A House investigator, Steve Kahn, reached the same basic conclusion as Meggs, plus found fault with other actions, including a secretive meeting Sansom and Richburg set up with the Northwest Florida State College Board of Trustees. An ethics commission review is under way.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:52pm]


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