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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Meggs says he has proof hangar e-mails to Sansom were opened

23

September

State Attorney Willie Meggs told Leon County Judge Terry Lewis this morning that he will soon submit discovery evidence showing that e-mails sent to former House Speaker Ray Sansom regarding the $6-million airport hangar sought by developer Jay Odom were in fact opened.

Sansom attorney Steve Dobson recently told Lewis that the state has no evidence to prove Sansom received any such e-mails.

"We keep hearing them say there is no evidence Sansom received those e-mails from (former Northwest Florida State College president) Bob Richburg, but our IT people say they can tell they were received and opened," Meggs said.

Meggs and Dobson appeared before Lewis this morning on Dobson's motion to have the perjury charge against Sansom dismissed. Sansom also faces an official misconduct charge in the case, in which Sansom is accused of working with Richburg and Odom to get money for the building that Odom would partly use for his corporate jet business. Lewis heard from the two attorneys for about 45 minutes while Sansom looked on, but he did not make any promises as to when he might rule on the dismissal motion.

Dobson spent much of the time trying to poke holes in Meggs' counter to his dismissal motion, saying it includes allegations "that are not true at all."

"They're putting things in here that I don't think can be established at a hearing," Dobson said. "They don't have a witness to say these three guys got together and planned how to do it, planned how to hide it from everyone else."

He told Lewis there is no evidence Sansom was responsible for intentionally leaving out "airport" in the appropriation language to hide the facility's purpose, to which Lewis replied: "I don't type out a lot of my orders myself; it doesn't mean  I'm not responsible for them."

Meggs told Lewis that Sansom lied to a grand jury, saying the airport hangar was never intended for private use.

"He said, 'I will never be for a project like that,' but the evidence the state has is entirely contradictory to that," Meggs said.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:19pm]

    

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