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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum already looked at Sansom



Mccollumsansom Attorney General Bill McCollum may be looking at a possible Sunshine Law violation involving House Speaker Ray Sansom, but he has already dismissed a call for a broader investigation into Sansom's dealings with a state college.

In an e-mail obtained by the Times/Herald, McCollum tells a Panhandle resident concerned about Sansom that the statewide prosecutor under his office has no investigative authority. "Criminal investigations for the state are handled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement," McCollum wrote.

McCollum notes, however, that the prosecutor did "review" the allegations against Sansom, R-Destin. Spokeswoman Sandi Copes said that means the prosecutor looked at jurisdictional issues and determined that FDLE would be the right agency.

Michael J. Barnes was not totally satisfied with the response, as evidenced in this e-mail to McCollum, and insists that McCollum indeed has the right.

But a few days later, Barnes was informed by the AG's Office that state attorney Willie Meggs will ask a grand jury whether he should investigate Sansom.

Sansom, who on Jan. 31 will resign the $110,000-a-year job at Northwest Florida State College, has denied any wrongdoing and said he looks forward to being cleared.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:14pm]


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