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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New documents link Sansom to airport building



In defending a $6 million airport project that is at the heart of a criminal indictment against him, state Rep. Ray Sansom has said the project was available for any lawmaker -- and Gov. Charlie Crist -- to review.

That's true, but newly surfaced budget documents from the governor's office (click image above to enlarge) confirm that neither Crist nor lawmakers could have known developer Jay Odom had planned to use part of the building. There is no mention of Odom's involvement in planning the building and working out an agreement with the former president of Northwest Florida State College to use the hangar-type space in the building at Destin Airport.

Sansom had initially said he was not aware of Odom's involvement (excerpt from 12/3/08 interview here). Several documents that surfaced after the Times/Herald began investigating showed that Odom was indeed involved in the college planning. Defense lawyers have since countered that an agreement for Odom to use the building was never executed, therefore there was no wrongdoing.

The document raises another question. Even if Crist was unaware of a possible other use, the project was "not on any list." Despite that, Crist still spared it from veto.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:11pm]


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